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Record-breaking Relay hailed
Chair: 'This one just had a magical feel'
Relay WEB
A team from Vickery Creek Middle School walks Friday during Relay for Life. - photo by Autumn Vetter

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Donations for this year’s Relay for Life will continue to be accepted through August on the event Web site at www.forsythrelayforlife.org.

This year’s Relay for Life set a record.

Suzanne Hendricks, community manager with American Cancer Society, said Friday night’s event raised more money than any other previous Relay for Life in Forsyth County.

“This was a record-breaking year for us,” said Hendricks, noting that the previous mark was set in 2005.

The annual event invites teams to walk through the night at the Cumming Fairgrounds to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

The event also offers a festival-type atmosphere for the public, with live entertainment, food and family-friendly activities.

Amy Richardson, co-chair of the local organizing committee, said about $288,000 was raised.

“We met our goal of $265,000 by midnight and were able to announce that to everybody,” she said. “That’s never happened before. We have had years where we met or surpassed the goal, but that usually doesn’t happen until after the walk.

“Being able to share that with everyone at Relay was really phenomenal.”

Richardson estimated the event, which will continue to collect donations through August on its Web site, could raise as much as $300,000 for research and other American Cancer Society programs.

“It’s very, very exciting, especially given how difficult things have been economically during the past few years,” she said.

According to Richardson, probably more than 3,000 people turned out for the relay, which saw “fantastic weather.”

“It was sunny but also cool, so that helped with our success,” she said.

She also noted that about 130 people signed up to participate in the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study-3, or CPS-3.

The CPS-3 will be the third long-term study conducted by the society to help discover causes and preventions of cancer.

The first linked smoking to cancer, and the second found ties to obesity.

“We were really happy with the number of people we had enrolling in the study,” Richardson said.

Overall, she called this year’s Relay for Life one of the most successful in its history.

“They are always fun, but this one just had a magical feel to it,” she said.