Brittney Lofthouse – Staff Writer

Relay for Life of Macon County celebrated the start of team preparation for the 2018 relay with a kickoff event last Tuesday.

Relay for Life is the signature event of the American Cancer Society (ACS) where survivors are celebrated, those lost to cancer are remembered and people join together to spread hope and find cures through research, programs, education and service.

The kickoff, held at the Fun Factory of Franklin, featured words from relay organizers and participants about this year’s event, to be held June 1 from 6 p.m. until midnight. For the first time in 25 years, this year’s Relay for Life Event will be “coming home” and will be returning to Franklin’s Main Street.

“It has been about 25 years ago [since the event was downtown],” said Tammy Dills. “The entire event was not downtown, but the luminary portion was and that worked very well.”

This year, the entire event, including the Relay for Life walk will be hosted downtown.

“Our community has always supported this event and with everyone’s cooperation, I feel like it can be great,” said Dills.

The 2018 Really for Life Theme is “There’s no place like Hope!” The Wizard of Oz Theme will feature a yellow brick road around the downtown Gazebo for the walk, with luminaries set up in honor of survivors and those who have lost the battle with cancer.

“The survivor dinner will also be changed up this year,” said Dills. “It will be a luncheon not a dinner and will be held on a Saturday. We hope this will make it better for those who don’t always drive in the evenings.”

Event Chair Julie Lucas requested the closing of Iotla Street for the event, and the town of Franklin approved the request.

Relay for Life is the largest fundraising event for ACS. It is a community-based event where groups of people, teams, businesses and companies hold fundraising events year-round for cancer research and various programs and services such as taking a cancer patient to doctor’s appointments regardless of income. This year’s fundraising goal for the Franklin Relay for Life is $78,000, which will beat last year’s goal.

Interested in forming a team? Just grab a friend to start a team to help raise money to beat cancer. You don’t have to be in Franklin to join the Relay. If you have any questions, contact Julie Lucas-Event Lead at jklkristy@aim.com.

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