Participants brave rain and cold to Relay for Life

Linda BurchetteAssistant

July 15, 2012

A brief moment or two of sunshine, accompanied by a rainbow, broke through the drizzle making hearts soar during Friday’s Relay for Life event in West Jefferson.

Speaker Rhonda Fleming of Yadkin County with the North Carolina Relay for Life Volunteer Task Force pointed to the rainbow as a symbol of hope for cancer victims and their loved ones and praised all those participating in the event.

“Relay people are passionate about a cure!” Fleming said. “They believe like no one else that we will find a cure for cancer!”

Fleming said, “You become a survivor the very moment you get the diagnosis, because if you don’t believe you will survive, no one else will believe you will survive. This community came together to make people who have heard that diagnosis believe there is hope. You’re here because it’s a place of healing. Relay is a way of healing.”

Fleming asked people to make a commitment to join a Relay team or start a team of their own.

“Ashe County does a beautiful job of coming together as a family,” she said.

Giny Haynes with Relay in Elkin said the event in Ashe is near and dear to her heart because she knew and worked with Mickie Jones who served as chairperson when Giny herself was just starting out. “I miss her,” Haynes said of Mickie, who succumbed to her cancer, “but we are carrying on the great legacy she helped build here.”

Edie Miller sang the National Anthem as Ashe County High School JROTC cadets posted colors, there was special music and an address from Dr. Yvonne Mack who read the 91st Psalm. Syndi and Renee Brooks drew the name of Carla West Miller as winner of their handmade barn quilt in honor of Relay. Booths offering food and games, activities and all kinds of trinkets were set up by the teams.

Survivors of cancer took the first lap as the Relay got underway, followed by caregivers and then youth walking in honor or memory of a loved one, with teams then taking their turns around the track raising money for the American Cancer Society in hopes of finding a cure for all types of cancer.