A dozen teams trekked around the Harlem High School football field Friday, raising more than $20,000 for the American Cancer Society.
"Cancer touches everyone in every region. The relay makes people more aware of what they can do to help find a cure," said Jean Dove, co-chairman of the City of Harlem's first ever Relay for Life.
The 12 teams participating in Friday's Relay for Life raised a total of $21,639.
"It's wonderful," said Julie Tollison, community income manager for the local American Cancer Society office. "Our goal on paper was $5,000, so it's $16,000 over what we were looking for. I was very, very excited."
From 7 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday, more than 200 walkers rounded the Harlem High School football field to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
"The survivor walk was very touching," said Dove. "There was entertainment throughout the evening, including an elvis look-alike. There was also a male beauty contest, with some of our elected officials participating. All in all it was a good event for the first one."
The Survivor's Lap kicked off the festivities, with 67 cancer survivors attending the event, about 30 of them from Harlem.
"People had a lot of fun, stayed all night and walked the track," Tollison said. "It was just a great event and it will continue to grow and grow. There was a lot of interest in the community and we had people stopping by to see what it was all about. People are excited about next year already."
Though it didn't raise anything close to the $190,000 the Greenbrier event raised or match the 70 teams and 300 cancer survivors they had at Greenbrier, Tollison said the Harlem event enabled local residents to unite for a good cause. She said there are nine relay's in the CSRA with plans to expand in the Augusta area.
"Our goal eventually is to have a relay for life in every community," Tollison said. "It gives the community a sense of pride and unites them."
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