If you go
Those who want to participate in Light the Night can register at the event or go online at www.lightthenight.org.
The evening sky will be a little brighter Saturday at the Cumming Fairgrounds as part of an event to help eliminate blood cancers.
The Georgia Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s first annual North Metro Light the Night Walk will begin at 5 p.m.
The fundraiser is expected to draw more than 85 teams and 2,000 participants in support of blood cancer research, educational materials, events for patients and families, support programs, personalized assistance and financial aid.
Emily Kallos, co-captain of local team Dutch Monkey, said she got involved with the society after her mother, Marion Barrington, died in 2010 of myeloma, a blood cancer. Barrington is this year’s North Metro Remembered Hero.
Kallos said the event will begin with kid-friendly activities including an inflatable, video games, face painting and a skateboarding demonstration. Before the walk begins, a ceremony will be held in honor of those who have died as a result of blood cancers.
Kallos said she and her husband joined fundraising forces with Martin Burge, owner of Dutch Monkey Doughnuts on Ronald Reagan Parkway, after they learned he’d lost a sister to myeloma and also had a team.
“Through the walk last year we became fast friends and thought we could just raise a lot more money if we did it together,” Kallos said, adding this year they are close to reaching their $20,000 goal.
“We have a team of about 60 walkers and we’re considered one of the larger friends and family teams for this particular walk,” she said.
Having the event in Cumming is more convenient for those who live in the north metro area, said Kallos. There will also be a walk at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, which she said usually draws about 5,000 to 6,000 participants.
Those who participate also will carry red, white and gold illuminated balloons. She said red represents those who support someone that has a blood cancer or has lost a loved one to the disease, white is for those who are fighting a blood cancer and gold is to represent someone who has died.
“The Atlanta walk is pretty neat to see because … it really just lights up the skyline, it’s gorgeous,” she said. “We’ll be doing that here in Cumming as well.”
According to a release from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the event is expected to raise more than $200,000.
Dick Brown, executive director of the society’s Georgia chapter, said the decision to expand the walk to Cumming was the result of the campaign’s success in 2010.
“This walk serves the north Fulton, Roswell, Johns Creek and Duluth areas,” he said. “We have received a tremendous amount of support from these communities and it really shows there was a need and want for a Light the Night Walk in this area. We are thrilled with the feedback we have received and really feel like we made the right decision to expand the campaign this year.”