Survivors

Cancer survivors lead the “survivor lap” during opening ceremonies at Relay for Life 2015 at the Pontotoc County Agri-Plex.

Once a year, Pontotoc County residents meet to honor cancer survivors, remember those who have died and raise money for cancer research.

This year’s Relay for Life fundraiser will take place Friday night in the big red barn at the Pontotoc County Agri-Plex, 1710 N. Broadway. The event will begin with a reception and registration for survivors and caregivers from 5 to 7 p.m., followed by the welcome at 6 p.m.

A silent auction, team booth activities and food sales will start at 6 p.m., and the ceremonial opening is scheduled for 7 p.m. Other activities will include the Ms. Relay contest and a stickball demonstration by the Chickasaw Nation.

The mood will turn somber at 9 p.m., when the lights will be dimmed for a luminaria ceremony, Relay co-leader Tiffany Jones said Tuesday. The ceremony gives participants a chance to remember friends and relatives they have lost to cancer.

The Billy K Band will perform a free concert at 10 p.m., followed by awards and a closing ceremony at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

Fundraising teams will raffle off items and door prizes throughout the event.

Jones said the 2015 Relay for Life generated $137,000 for the cause, and organizers are hoping to raise at least $145,000 this year. She said she was optimistic that the teams would reach that goal.

“We’re feeling really good right now,” said Jones, whose co-leaders are Sharon Croy and Kelly Cook. “The teams have worked really hard.”

All proceeds from the event will go to the American Cancer Society, which uses the money for cancer research and programs designed to help cancer patients.

For more information about the event, visit www.relayforlife.org/pontotocok.

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