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Bulloch gets ready for 2012 Relay for Life
W 042911 RELAY FOR LIFE 02
In this April 2011 file photo, participants in the 2011 Relay for Life make their laps as the sun sets at the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fairgrounds.

    The room was a sea of purple last week as participants enjoyed the kickoff rally for the Bulloch County Relay for Life.
    Cheerleaders from Southeast Bulloch High School roused excitement for the group as cancer survivors and their caregivers prepared for the Bulloch County Relay for Life slated for Friday, April 13, at the Statesboro Kiwanis Fairgrounds.
    “This is to get passion moving for the relay season,” said Dale Carlson-Bebout, area director for Relay for Life, Southeast Georgia.
    While the event, held at Statesboro First Baptist Church, was largely made up of Bulloch County residents, there also were Relay participants from Candler, Screven and Jenkins counties, she said.
    Mary Edwards, event co-chair for the Bulloch County Relay event, said the rally was for “getting people pumped up. This is the first fund raiser push.”
    As the Gloria Gaynor hit “I Will Survive” played in the background, people milled about wearing purple clothes, purple jewelry, even purple hats and feathers.
    “We’re here to recognize all the work you do to fight cancer,” Carlson-Bebout said.
    Relay for Life helped 13,650 cancer patients last year, she said.
    The group enjoyed a video of past events across the country, commenting on ideas for future fund raising events. Relay for Life is the largest fundraiser in the world, said state Relay Chairman Randy Radnor. The event was founded by an oncologist in 1985 in Tacoma, Washington.
    In 2011, there were 5,160 Relay events in 21 countries. Over 3.5 million Americans participated in those events last year, he said.
    Since 1985, “About $4.25 billion has been raised,” Radnor said. “I see nothing that brings a community together like Relay for Life.”
    The Bulloch County event will begin the evening of  Friday, April 13, with a supper for cancer survivors, and will end with a breakfast the next day.

    Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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