MILLEDGEVILLE — When Pam Tindal became involved in the local Relay effort a few years ago, no one in her life had been directly affected by cancer.
But as years passed, the fight against the disease took on a more personal meaning.
Both her mother and father were diagnosed.
“I’ve been involved in different capacities of Relay for Life for about 10 years now,” said Tindal, chair of the local Relay in Baldwin County.
Her mother lost the battle with a rare form of cancer, but her father is still alive having survived his bout with prostate cancer.
“I think being a part of Relay for Life before the cancer set in prepared me for what was to come and helped me understand my parents’ struggle.”
The annual Relay event has quickly become a larger-than-life program that brings several people together for a common cause. According to the American Cancer Society, each year, more than 4 million people in more than 20 countries raise much-needed funds and awareness to save lives from cancer through the Relay For Life movement.
As part of the local Relay activities, a Survivor Dinner is held to honor their battle with the disease.
The Survivor Committee will host the Survivor Dinner at 6 p.m. Tuesday at First United Methodist Church, located on Log Cabin Road. The goal for registering 175 survivors was met and exceeded according to Jane Barnard, chair of the Survivor Committee.
“The survivor dinner is something we do to honor and celebrate those who have survived cancer,” said Tindal.
Survivors will check in and receive T-shirts to walk the survivor lap on the Friday of Relay for Life.
Cancer awareness is only part of Relay for Life; the event also includes a series of fundraisers to help raise proceeds for the cause. Last year Relay for Life of Baldwin County raised more than $135,000 for individuals suffering from cancer. The proceeds went on to help more than 40 people in the community.
This year Relay for Life of Baldwin County is participating in Paint the Town Purple. The fundraiser runs through Friday. This is an opportunity to not only donate money to the cause but also to show support by purchasing a purple bow for $5.
“You can hang them on your doors, mailboxes, anywhere you want to show your support of cancer and cancer survivors,” said Tindal.
Businesses within the community also hold fundraisers in support of Relay for Life.
On Monday, Gringos restaurant downtown will have a Relay for Life Spirit Night where 10 percent of sales will go toward Baldwin County Relay.
Relay for Life is slated for Friday at the Baldwin Braves Stadium. Activities will begin at 6 p.m. with an Easter Egg hunt starting at 6:30 p.m.
“All teams donated eggs for the hunt and each team has a prize egg that will have something different from candy in it,” said Tindal.
All prize eggs will be different ranging from $1 bills to small toys.
The opening ceremony begins at 7 p.m. starting with the survivor lap. Area cancer survivors and members of each relay team will take turns walking around the track at the stadium.
“I hope the whole community comes out to support these cancer survivors and those who lost the fight,” Tindal said. “It will mean a great deal to their family and friends.”
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