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‘Especially touching’
Turnout, weather key relay
Relay For Life 9 es
Madison Meinberg and Lucas Meinberg (two siblings in a set of triplets) play with a lady bug at their tent Friday night at the Relay For Life. - photo by Emily Saunders

Contributions to this year’s Relay for Life will be accepted through the end of August. To make a donation, contact Valery Hall at (770) 887-2461 or, or go online at
Organizers say a combination of good weather and high participation made for a strong Forsyth County Relay for Life.

“[Relay] was awesome,” said Valery Hall, co-chair of the organizing committee. “The turnout was very strong and the luminary ceremony was especially touching.

“We were also very fortune that the weather was perfect.”

Hall said the annual event, held overnight Friday at the Cumming Fairgrounds, featured more than 75 teams with about 1,500 participants.
Participation topped the committee’s goal of 1,200.

As of Monday, Hall said about $220,000 of the $275,000 goal had come in. But the committee has until Aug. 31 to raise additional funds for the American Cancer Society.

“We should be very close to $250,000, which is phenomenal in these difficult economic times,” she said. “It says a lot about our cause and the impact cancer has had on every one of us.”

A highlight of the event, Hall said, was a performance by Gwinnett County up-and-coming county music singer Rachel Farley.

Farley, 14, performed “All are Our Heroes,” which is being used nationwide to raise funds for the American Cancer Society, and several of her other original songs.

“[Her performance] was very powerful,” Hall said.

But perhaps the highlight of the evening was the camaraderie, she said.

“I think the best part for me was seeing so many new faces, along with those who never miss a year, come together,” she said.

Hall also thanked sponsors of the event, particularly this year’s presenting sponsor, Northside Hospital-Forsyth.

E-mail Crystal Ledford at