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Local News

June 14, 2009

Hope on display at Relay for Life

GREENVILLE — The evening was filled with tears, laugher, praise and a determination to stamp out cancer, at the American Cancer Society's Hunt County Relay For Life on Friday night through Saturday morning at Phillips Field in Greenville.

Relay for Life is an annual event to raise money for research for cancer, the event is also brings the community and families together to have a great time and show support for survivors.

“It’s a great way to get families together and appreciate people.” survivor Loni Compton said.

Compton's daughter was her caregiver and she came from North Amarillo, Texas to participate at the event.

The Relay For Life was opened with prayer by Melva Hill and the singing of the Star Spangled Banner by Renee Francey. After the National Anthem, a survivor, Rhonda Simmons, was brought on stage wearing a hat. The survivor chair, Michelle Oznick, mentioned that earlier Simmons asked, “Was she going to be the only one without hair.” Oznick replied to her, “It’s okay, this is why we walk”.

The song “Shout, was then played and survivors and participants clap and danced to the tune.

The mayor of Greenville, Tom Oliver, addressed the crowd. “I’m glad that Greenville is a host of the event. Tonight we celebrate the memory of those who have lost their life to cancer and help support researchers to find a cure for cancer,” he said.

The Initial was the Survivor Walk, caregivers, participants, family members and friends stood by as they walk around the field and cheered them on. Some survivors finished the walk in tears.

Caregivers met the survivors at the start line to walk with the survivors around the field.

“It’s not easy being a caregiver and also it’s not easy being a survivor," said Julia Wensel, a committee member and team member of “Save the Boobs Babe” — a name developed from when Relay For Life initially focused on Breast cancer Awareness.

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