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Long County kicks off Relay for Life
RFL KickOff 049
The Heritage Banks Relay for Life team members Mellissa Rozier and Barb Parker show a Blue Tide throw that they will be selling raffle tickets for to raise money. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle

The Long County Relay for Life recently held its annual kick-off celebration in preparation for this year’s event, which will be May 17-18 at Veterans Stadium in Ludowici.  
The kick-off was held at The New Beginning Church, which is the presenting partner for this year’s RFL. Co-chairs Lynn Simmons and Deborah Wells provided the audience with a breakdown of what would be taking place this year.
“We’re celebrating a great goal and a great cause. All of us, every family in here, has been affected by (cancer) … I know I have,” Simmons said.
The group watched a video called “I Relay for a Cure,” which showed different RFLs taking place in 2012, with individual segments showing why people participated in the event.
Sharon Proudfoot spoke about a friend who began supporting the cause, but never thought her 13-year-old son eventually would be walking the survivor’s lap at their local relay. Proudfoot said that her friend’s son’s cancer went into remission, but when he became a Glynn Academy High School student, the cancer came back. Proudfoot said the teen beat cancer a second time and will walk another survivor’s lap this year, but many won’t and that is why the relay is so important for those who survive and also to find a cure for those who don’t.
Senior Community Manager Kelly Spaeder also gave a presentation on a new program in which individuals volunteer to provide information for a cancer-prevention study.  The study, which looks at the lifestyles and genetics of 300 people, is a long-term plan in which the individual provides the majority of their information from home.
Wells said last year’s Long County relay raised more than $35,000, and that since the event began, it had raised more than $240,000.  She said that Long County was one of the few in the state that had all of its schools participate. Last year, 12 of the 20 teams raised at least $1,000 each.  
Wells said that this year’s goal is to have 22 teams and 60 registered survivors and  to raise $37,000. She said that, at the time of the meeting, $3,640 had been raised.  
Simmons said the next meeting would be Feb. 28 at the church.  
For more information, call 912-977-2085 or 912-312-1838.  The Long County relay website is

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