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Relay celebrates courage, hopes for cure

“C” is not just for cancer,” said Vickie Wancaster. “It stands for commitment, because you have to promise you will get well again. More importantly, ‘c’ stands for courage, because we all know how much courage it takes to deal with this disease.”

And so began the 2010 Covington County Relay for Life event a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, as hundreds gathered at the Kiwanis Fairgrounds Friday.

And while the “official” total was not available, chairperson Ressie Gray said it appeared the group is close to its $107,000 goal.

When the night’s event began, participants had already logged more than $91,000.

“We’re hoping and praying that we meet our goal, but you know what – whatever we make is more than we started out with and that much closer to finding a cure,” Gray said.

This year’s Relay added two new events to its line up – a balloon release sponsored by Meredith’s Miracles and a cancer caretaker lap.

More than 15 teams were on hand for the night’s event – including one with a member who traveled from Michigan to attend.

“Detroit, to be exact,” said Rogers Colston of the Merrills family team.

“My dad was from Brantley and he passed away from cancer. My uncle was also from Brantley and he died of cancer.

So you could say cancer runs in my family.

“Now, my family is here now, and that’s what (Relay) is a about showing support for your family. That’s why I come.”

This is Colston’s fourth year attending the Covington County Relay for Life event.

Survivors take their lap at the 2010 Covington County Relay for Life event Friday.