Volunteers will walk with a purpose Friday evening as they participate in Harlem's Relay for Life.
The city's seventh all-night fundraiser for the American Cancer Society will kick off at 7 p.m. with opening ceremonies and the Survivors' Lap at the Harlem High School football field and track.
"We're very impressed with them," said Lisa Bryant, the cancer society community manager working with Harlem officials to organize the event. "It is a community that just really cares about the other people around them. When they decide to do something, they go all out."
Jean Dove, event co-chairwoman, said she hopes that about 75 cancer survivors participate in the lap in their honor. Interested survivors can contact her at (706) 556-0043, Bryant at (706) 731-9900, or show up at the relay between 6 and 6:30 p.m. Friday to register.
A dozen teams -- including new teams from Cedar Ridge Elementary School, Home Depot, an Appling Red Hat club and Augusta State University -- have been working since early February raising funds to meet the $50,000 goal.
"I am always optimistic that we will meet our goal," Dove said. "Hopefully, we'll just blow out that goal this year. The community is always great to support the event."
The relay has raised about $350,000 for the American Cancer Society in six years, including a record $63,000 in 2006.
The evening features entertainment, including a performance by the Jeremy Graham Band, formerly Shiloh, which specializes specialize in country, rock and Southern rock.
A popular annual event, the Miss Relay pageant, will begin at 10 p.m.
The pageant features Harlem men dressed in formal gowns.
The customary luminaria service will begin at 9:30 p.m. Bryant said an energetic Fight Back ceremony will be held at 1 a.m. to keep participants charged up. Other contests and games will be ongoing throughout the night until the relay ends at 7 a.m. Saturday.
The public is invited to attend and participate.
"The more the merrier," Bryant said.
For more information, visit www.relayforlife.org, or call Bryant or Dove or the American Cancer Society at (800) ACS-2345.
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