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Relay for Life this weekend

The number of participants has increased for the 2014 Relay for Life “Finish the Fight” walk, which will begin at 6 p.m., Friday, at Azalea Park.

Event Chair April Sarakas said there are 310 walkers signed up for this year’s Madison and Iron Counties Relay for Life, which is up about 40 to 50 from last year.

“We also had 191 attend the survivor dinner Saturday,” Sarakas said. “The number is a lot more than we normally have.”

Sarakas said they had entertainment by Rhubarberella and then had a poem for the empty table, during the dinner Saturday.

Sarakas said the committee also tied purple ribbons around town as part of “paint the town purple” week to prepare for the dinner Saturday and this week’s walk.

She added, there are a couple of new things available at the event this year. One is a bounce house for kids to enjoy.

The Luminaria Ceremony will begin at 9 p.m. Friday. It is held ‘In Memory’ of those who have lost the fight to cancer or ‘In Honor’ of those who have fought the cancer battle and won or ‘Loving Caregiver’ for those who have been there to hold your hand at the darkest moments, is something you don’t want to miss. The regular luminaria bags are $5 each and the giant luminaria bags are $10 each, these are placed around the track,” said Sarakas.

Another new event offered this year is the Memorial Lantern Ceremony. Immediately following the Luminaria Ceremony, Safe Harbor Hospice will host the Memorial Lantern Ceremony. The lanterns are for sale now for $3 each, and can also be purchased at Relay.

Relay for Life will kick off with entertainment on stage beginning at 5:30 p.m. until the opening ceremony begins at 6 p.m. and the guest speaker for the evening will be Chris Reagan. Chris and his wife Brandee just recently went through a parent’s worst nightmare, when daughter Michaela was diagnosed with cancer. She is currently the relay’s youngest registered survivor. Chris will be speaking about this experience with on behalf of his daughter.

The survivors will be led around the track by a local Boy Scout Troop for the first lap, and then caregivers will join them for the second lap. Brittany Rouse will be signing “Relayin’ to the Beat” during this time. The Mom-A-Thon team will run the Kid’s Area with plenty of activities to keep children busy.

The Relay For Life of Madison and Iron Counties is a fun filled event to honor survivors, remember loved ones and raise money for the fight against cancer. This 12-hour event begins at 6 p.m. and ends at 6 a.m. During these 12 hours, Relay For Life has a variety of fun filled things planned to keep everyone in good spirits. 

They currently have $24,467.51 raised.

Sarakas said anyone attending the event needs to enter from Lincoln Drive and park across the street from the park. Sarakas said the group will also have SMTS running a shuttle service. Anyone who needs a ride can call 783-9641.

The weather forecast contains a small chance of rain for Friday and Sarakas said the committee has a plan for the inclement weather.

“In case plans change listen to Froggy or check the Daily Journal website ( for updates,” she said. “We will make the decision that day.”

If you would like more information on the Relay For Life of Madison and Iron Counties, contact April Sarakas at 573-747-6690.

The Relay for Life committee tied purple ribbons around Fredericktown as part of the “Paint the Town Purple” campaign prior to the relay this weekend. 

The Relay for Life committee tied purple ribbons around Fredericktown as part of the “Paint the Town Purple” campaign prior to the relay this weekend. 

Maridee Lawson is a reporter for the Democrat News and can be reached at 573-783-3366 or

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