Long County residents participated in the 2012 Relay for Life on Friday night and Saturday morning at Veterans Stadium in Ludowici.
With mosquitoes being held in check due to cooler temperatures, a large crowd was on hand to trek the laps around the field to raise money for the fight against cancer.
According to American Heart Association Relay for Life spokeswoman Sharon Proudfoot, 22 teams took part — Long County’s best showing yet. Christie Wingate and Lynn Simmons served as the event chairwoman and co-chair, respectively.
“Every year the people really come out to support this Relay for Life. This year, Long County had 22 teams with over 300 members on those teams,” Proudfoot said. “I really think this was a good weekend to have it. Easter is all about family and everyone having a good time, and that’s a big part of what Relay for Life is all about, too. Long County is a special place, and the support that is shown is a great reflection of the kind of people you have over here.”
Proudfoot said that as of Saturday morning, Long County Relay for Life had raised around $30,000, and more would come in from other planned fundraisers.
The festivities began at 7 p.m. as participants set up their tents and spread out food, shirts and other goods. At 7:15, everyone gathered around the track to cheer as those who have battled cancer completed the Survivor Lap. This year, 71 cancer survivors registered and participated in the lap, Proudfoot said. Shortly after the lap, bikers from around the area revved up their motorcycles and circled the track for the Thunder Lap.
“The Relay for Life is always a good community activity. People always come out and everyone always has a good time. We all have had someone who is close to us, whether it is a member of our family or a friend, get hit by cancer. The Relay for Life is a great cause and I’m glad that we have it every year,” Long County resident David Richardson said.
Supporters, onlookers and participants had plenty of activities to choose from, and a variety of food was available. Children played in the kid’s zone and lined up to have their faces painted as other attendees joined in organized line dances, tried their hand at singing and tried to win sweet treats during cake walks. Ribs, pulled pork, hamburgers, hot dogs, fish sandwiches and boiled peanuts rounded out the dining options.