If you go
* What: Relay for Life event and 5K
* Where: Cumming Fairgrounds
* When: Friday, May 5, 6 p.m.-midnight; 5K at 7:30 p.m.
* Register: relay.acsevents.org/ and runsignup.com/ole5k
* What: HOPE Dinner for cancer survivors and caregivers
* Where: Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center
* When: Friday, April 21, 7 p.m.
* RSVP: (770) 297-1220
Participants who register for Relay for Life of Forsyth County’s first-ever Olé 5K, which will be held during this year’s Relay event, will receive a free taco in honor of Cinco de Mayo.
Those who register before Saturday, April 22 will also receive a free taco T-shirt, according to Brooke VanBuskirk, senior community manager for the organization. Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society’s annual signature fundraiser, will be held on Friday, May 5 from 6.p.m. to midnight at the Cumming Fairgrounds, with the 5K scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
“We’re trying to bring in more people to attend who normally wouldn’t and help educate them while they’re there about what the American Cancer Society does,” she said. “We also want to educate them about Relay. The 5K also adds a healthy addition to our relay and promotes health and wellness.”
The event, an international ACS campaign, is a team experience where participants walk around a track for six to 24 hours, depending on the length of the relay.
“Each team is asked to have a member on the track at all times to signify that cancer never sleeps,” the organization’s website says. “Cancer patients don’t stop because they’re tired, and for one night, neither do we.”
A 2017 kickoff event was held in late January to rally participants and get them ready to start fundraising.
“At the event, we line the tracks with tents, like a tailgate,” Megan Edel, Relay for Life of Forsyth County co-leader, said in January. “They have on-site fundraising and each team has one person walking the track the whole night and as you go from tent to tent, you can buy goodies and food and trinkets and all that, and all the money goes back to the [American Cancer Society]. It’s fun — it’s just a good time.”
At the fundraiser, participants are welcomed in an opening ceremony, followed by a survivor lap, where cancer survivors and those currently affected by cancer walk the track, cheered on by attendees.
Then follows the caregiver lap, which recognizes people who have provided support for their loved once during treatment.
Finally, participants are invited to walk the track as teams or individuals.
Relay for Life events also hold a Luminaria ceremony, which remembers those who have died from cancer. It also serves to show cancer patients they are not alone.
Closing ceremonies finish the event.
Forsyth’s Relay team is also hosting a HOPE dinner for cancer survivors and caregivers on Friday, April 21.
Local survivors and caregivers are invited to attend and can RSVP at (770) 297-1220.
It will be held at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center.
To register for the 5K, which is open to anyone, visit runsignup.com/ole5k, and for more information on this year’s Relay, visit relay.acsevents.org/.