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No raining on this parade

Annual Relay raises $50,000

POSTED: May 13, 2009 4:00 a.m.
Photo/Elizabeth Hamilton/

Kicking off this year's Relay For Life event, more than 100 survivors walked in the "Survivor Lap," celebrating a winning battle with cancer.

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Weather may have moved the event indoors, but it couldn’t rain on Dawson County’s 13th  annual Relay For Life.


The event, which featured 19 teams and 228 participants from the community, reached its  projected fundraising goal of $50,000.


Suzanne Hendricks, community manager of the American Cancer Society for the Dawson County Relay For Life, was pleased with the turnout Friday, saying those who participated had a great time.


“We knew we were up against hard economic times going into this relayseason, and I am proud of all the teams,” Hendricks said. “They worked so hard to reach and exceed their team goals.


“The committee and I are so grateful for the support of all Relay for Life sponsors and the support of this entire community,” she said. “Ernie Elliott Inc. returned as the presenting sponsor this year and we are thankful and appreciative of their many years of support.”


Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society’s signature activity, is a 12-hour, overnight fundraiser that supports cancer research.


Teams camp out at local high schools, parks or fairgrounds and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative walking at all times during the event, which ended Saturday morning.


Rhonda Stone, a cancer survivor and a member of First Baptist Church of Dawsonville’s team, was grateful to support a cause that aims to save so many lives.


“I am here today to support everyone who has cancer and has had a tougher road of battling the disease than I have,” Stone said.


Stone walked the track for the entire 12-hour span.


Maggie Smith, a two-time survivor of cancer, was glad to take part Friday.


“Relay brings awareness about cancer to communities and provides hope for finding a cure in the future,” Smith said.


“I feel so lucky to be here today. My best advice to everyone is take responsibility of your own health, go to the doctor and make sure to keep up with yearly checkups.”


Hendricks noted that the event’s impact is measured in many ways.


“We had over 120 survivors register for the event and I feel that alone makes it a huge success,” she said.


“Relay is all about remembering those we’ve lost and celebrating with those who are with us today who have beat cancer and are currently winning their battles.”


E-mail Elizabeth Hamilton at


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