By Morgan Stringer
The Lafayette County Relay for Life has raised more than $60,000 last year, and continues to raise money due to the efforts of volunteers and donors, including Lafayette County Relay for Life Chair Dyanne McCord of Oxford.
This year, the goal is $70,000. The 2015 Lafayette County Relay for Life will be on May 1 at 6 p.m., according to the Relay for Life website.
McCord became involved in Relay for Life when a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“She lost her battle,” said McCord. “The medication affected her heart.”
Later, McCord’s mother had throat cancer, and she fought her own battle with skin cancer. Fortunately, it was caught in time.
“Cancer affects everyone,” she said. “Look around you. How many people do you know that have been affected by cancer? Some people have a compassion for different things. The American Cancer Society is mine.”
Relay for Life raises money for research with different activities. McCord will register for the Lafayette County Relay for Life in January, so she can prepare and plan for the relay in May.
Illuminaries, bags lit with candles that have the names of loved ones who have or have had cancer written on them, are sold to raise money. Sky lanterns are also sold. They are similar to illuminaries, except sky lanterns are balloons that are released into the night sky.
Other activities included face-painting, bounce castles, dunking booths and food sales.
McCord said there are other activities, throughout the year, such as corn-in-hole tournaments and bunko tournaments that the American Cancer Society sponsors to raise money.
Area restaurants will also donate a percentage of their profits on certain days.
McCord said the Lafayette County Relay for Life has a cancer survivor dinner on site. The first lap of the Relay is walked by survivors. The second lap is reserved for caregivers of loved ones with cancer.
I like to focus on wonderful volunteers and survivors, said Vic Sullivan, a specialist for the Relay for Life Mid-South Division of the American Cancer Society.
Afterwards, others join the relay.
“We like to have one team member from each team on the track at all times,” said McCord.
The Lafayette County Relay for Life attracts many people.
“Most people come because they had a relative or a really close friend with cancer,” said McCord.