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Relay for Life volunteers hunt for a cure
4. Relay for Life pic
Dressed in camouflage, Relay for Life organizers Brooke VanBuskirk, from left, Nicole Stewart, Kris Rowan and Shirley Hawkins announce Hunting for a Cure as this years cancer fundraising theme. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson County News

Deer hunting season may be over, but those whose mission it is to stop cancer in its tracks are still "Hunting for a Cure."

Dawson County Relay for Life kicked off its 2016 fundraising initiative Jan. 19 at Cornerstone Church, where volunteers wearing camouflage declared they would unite as a community to honor survivors, raise awareness of reducing cancer risks and collect funds to help the American Cancer Society.

"We are building back Relay in Dawson County, and we're just hoping to get more people involved and get more survivors and caregivers involved so we can recognize them, as well," said American Cancer Society representative Brooke VanBuskirk.

Last year's event brought out 85 survivors, 215 participants and 20 teams to raise $43,057, more than doubling the amount collected a year earlier.

An event planned for Feb. 13 is among new ideas aimed at drawing even larger crowds this year.

Longtime volunteer Roger Slaton said organizers invite survivors and caregivers to a Valentine social at the Dawson County School Board of Education's Professional Development Center, off of Main Street. The breakfast starts at 8 a.m.

"This is the first time we've done this in Dawson County and it's a breakfast for our survivors and caregivers, even if you've been a caregiver and your loved one has passed away," he said. "It's so we can give them some recognition. We want to make contact with them and let them know we are interested in helping them."

The 2016 Relay for Life event is set for 11 a.m.-10 p.m. May 14 at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame.

For more information about Relay for Life or to sign up, visit