• 57°

Relay for Life prepares for team meetings

Relay For Life will host a team captain meeting at the Holiday Inn & Suites Friday at noon. Community members interested in hosting a team for this year’s Relay For Life of Lincoln County are encouraged to attend.

Cindy Ashmore, Relay For Life community manager, said that cancer is the second leading cause of death in Lincoln County.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever met anybody that doesn’t know somebody that has passed away from cancer,” Ashmore said. “It’s everywhere, especially here in Southwest Mississippi.”

Ashmore said the importance of cancer research in Mississippi became evident when the American Cancer Society released new statistics.

An estimated 16,260 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Mississippi in 2016. Lincoln County will see an estimated 166 new cases, she said.

“Everything that we raise through Relay benefits the American Cancer Society,” Ashmore said. “It goes toward research and programs throughout the state.”

Anyone within the community wishing to participate is asked to attend the three team captain meetings in January, February and March leading up to the event.

“Anybody can have a team,” Ashmore said. “Teams can be as big or as small as they want. They can do as little or as much as they want.”

Teams are usually comprised of families, businesses, churches or civic and community organizations. Ashmore said that many teams raise money through bake sales and food sales during the months leading up to the event.

In addition, the meetings serve as a means for teams to share their personal cancer story.

“We all have a reason to relay, so we want to be able to share that in the meetings,” Ashmore said.

This year’s Relay for Life will take place at Exchange Park April 1.

“On relay night, we encourage the teams to come and walk as a team and celebrate raising awareness,” she said.

Those who wish to participate in Relay For Life are asked to contact Ashmore at 601-384-4148 or visit www.relayforlife.org/lincolnms.