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Retired military officers lead survivors around the track in the pouring rain and wind Friday during the Watauga County Relay For Life event.


Originally published: 2014-06-21 15:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-21 15:00:43

Relay For Life

by Allison Haver

Cancer survivors, along with family, friends and supporters of those who have experienced the disease firsthand, gathered on Friday at Watauga High School for the annual Watauga County Relay For Life event.

Beginning at 2 p.m. at Watauga High School, 34 teams, including more than 400 individuals, participated in the event.

All of the money that the teams raised throughout the year will be donated to the American Cancer Society to help fight cancer, raise awareness and spread information to those diagnosed and those who support them.

A luminaria ceremony began at 9:30 p.m. as the Relay Torch was brought in and memorial torches were lit; bagpiper Jamie Fish led the marches around the track.

The annual event lasted Friday night into Saturday morning. Relay For Life officially ended on Saturday at 8 a.m. when the teams began to clean up and move out after another successful year of the event.

According to Relay For Life specialist Melissa Hiatt, this year's gross event total was $98,000, exceeding the local fundraising goal of $95,000.

"There are some teams that still have money outstanding and money will be collected for this year's event until Aug. 31," Hiatt said.

Last year, 36 teams, representing 288 team members raised more than $115,000 for the cause, according to the 2013 Watauga County Relay For Life Summary release.