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Relay for Life will kick off Jan. 17
Shifting to conference center
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Forsyth County News

If you’re going

The Forsyth County Relay for Life kickoff will begin at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center, 7745 Majors Road. The event is free and open to anyone interested in learning more about Relay for Life. For more information, contact Suzanne Hendricks at (770) 297-1176, ext. 29062, or

Leaders of the local American Cancer Society chapter are preparing to roll out the purple carpet.

Suzanne Hendricks, community manager for Forsyth County, said this year’s kickoff for the local Relay for Life will be Jan. 17 at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center.

The event begins the fundraising season for Relay for Life, a 12-hour walk event in which teams raise money for the American Cancer Society.

The walk itself will be held May 11 at the Cumming Fairgrounds.

Partly in honor of the new, much larger venue for the kickoff, organizers wanted a grand theme.

“We decided on a Hollywood theme,” she said. “We’re doing ‘Lights, Camera, Take Action Against Cancer.’

“Instead of rolling out the red carpet, we’ll be rolling out the purple carpet, since purple is the color used for cancer awareness.”

Committee co-chairwoman Amanda Ryan said the event is “going to be a very different event than it has been in the past.”

“It’s fun to get to dressed up and honor our stars who have survived cancer,” she said. “It will have a whole different feel this year, as opposed to everyone coming in jeans.”

Hendricks said anyone interested in participating in this year’s Relay for Life is invited to attend the kickoff, which is free.

“Whether they have been touched by cancer themselves, lost a loved one to cancer or are passionate about fighting back for future generations, there is a place for everyone at Relay for Life,” she said.

She said this year’s fundraising goal is $265,000.

“Last year’s goal was $250,000 and we raised $257,000,” she said. “We had about 70 teams participate.”

At the kickoff, Hendricks said, several guest speakers will share the importance of cancer research.

Among them will be Forsyth County Fire Chief Danny Bowman and Susanna Greer, a doctor whose research has benefitted from American Cancer Society funding.

“Chief Bowman is one of our community leaders this year who’s been touched personally by cancer and has had several firemen touched by the disease, so we’re super thrilled to have him.”

Greer, she said, is an American Cancer Society Research Scholar.

“We talk so much about money raised through Relay going to research, I think everyone will enjoy hearing about some of that work,” Hendricks said.

The event will also honor all youth in the county who have battled cancer.

“We would love to see as many of them attend as possible,” Hendricks said.