Cancer Society to hold Relay kickoff this weekend

DULUTH - The American Cancer Society is planning a weekend celebration of royal proportions to jump start its annual cancer-aimed fundraiser and walk, Relay for Life.

Randy Redner, Cancer Society area director for Gwinnett County, said community members are invited to attend the Relay kick-off event beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday at Medieval Times, 5900 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth.

The celebration will include a ceremony for cancer survivors, a joust against cancer and a "knighting" of team captains.

"This is really an event for everyone just to get them excited about Relay and what we're going to be doing," Redner said.

The society hopes the event will provide the opportunity for community members to learn about the cancer society and get involved in Relay for Life, Redner said.

Thus far, 201 teams have committed to walk in the two-day event which will take place May 9 and 10 at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds, but cancer society officials are hoping more people will sign up for the walk at this weekend's event.

Redner said thus far 1,000 have registered for this Saturday's event.

From now until the May walk, teams and individuals will work to raise money for the cancer society which will then be used to continue with the society's efforts to provide cancer education and support to cancer patients, survivors and their families.

Relay, an overnight event, will honor cancer survivors, pay tribute to the lives lost to the disease and raise money to help fight it. In May teams and supporters are again expected to pack the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds to walk around a track and create campsites.

More information about the event and forming a team can be found at www.relayforlife.org.

Teams that have already signed up to participate can pick up Relay supplies and information at Saturday's event and team captains are asked to arrive at 10 a.m. to retrieve campsite priority numbers and Relay supplies.

This year will be the 15th year for Relay for Life in Gwinnett County and will mark the year the cancer society will have received more than $20 million in donations.

Anyone interested in attending the kickoff Saturday should call Kim Crook at the at 770-814-0123 or send an e-mail to kim.crook@cancer.org.