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Relay for Life surpasses goal

Fair weather and great company made the Covington County American Cancer Society's Relay for Life a success in 2003, according to Marriane DuBose, Relay For Life Chair.

Covington County raised just over $120,000.

"We had officially set a goal of $136,000 at the beginning of our year last year, but unfortunately, with the talk of recession and war, we personally set

a goal of $120,000 and we exceeded that," said DuBose.

"There are not enough ways to show our appreciation for your support of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life event in Covington County. The 8.9 million Americans alive today with a history of cancer and the millions of volunteers who work diligently to fight this deadly disease thank you for contributing to the fight," she added.

After a brief opening ceremony, more than 60 cancer survivors kicked off the event by leading the first lap of the overnight event.

Then one member from each of the 29 teams began walking or running relay style for the 12-hour period.

Around 10 p.m., lighted luminaria lined the track in honor of those living with cancer and in memory of those who lost their battle with the disease. The ceremony recognized and remembered those from Covington County that have been touched by cancer.

"The weather was absolutely perfect for Relay for Life," said DuBose. "The turnout was wonderful. The support was tremendous. We had

a very touching and emotional luminary service that was gorgeous. The spectators who came out - it was huge. People were parked all the way out to the road."

DuBose added that this year's Relay for Life ran very smoothly. Although she will not chair next year's event, scheduled to take place in Opp, she will remain active with Relay for Life and will participate again.

"Everyone is so wonderful," she said. "There is such a feeling of fellowship and camaraderie. I am very proud of Covington County," she said.

Planning soon begins for next year event. Call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org for more information about Relay For Life.

The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy and service.