Cancer survivors, families and caregivers joined together to honor those who have died from the disease or are in the midst of battling it for the 2016 Baker-Zachary Relay For Life on Friday at Zachary Community Park.
Churches, businesses, schools, nonprofits and law enforcement agencies from Baker and Zachary gathered as teams to embrace the western-inspired theme “Give Cancer the Boot!” and to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
At their booths and campsites and through their games and activities, team members, individual participants and volunteers spread the message of hope on Friday.
Line dancing and karate demonstrations, dunking booths, inflatables, food, drinks, T-shirts and musical performances by the Copper Mill Elementary School choir and local singer Michelle Willis were featured. A survivor’s dinner, luminaria and fight back ceremony also were part of the event’s itinerary.
After carrying glow sticks around during a silent lap, everyone worked together to spell out hope, turning their sorrow into something positive.
The team from Zachary Early Learning Center sold the most “Give Cancer the Boot” T-shirts; Team Northwestern (Elementary School) dedicated the most luminarias; Team Zachary Charity League won for best campsite; and Team CIS from the Cardiovascular Institute of the South won people’s choice campsite.
Several large donations and collections were taken up on Relay night that will be added to the overall fundraising total of more than $28,000, which should carry the entire 2016 Baker-Zachary Relay season over the $45,000 mark, event organizer Johnna Roose said.
Organizers also are working on scheduling a wrap-up party for May, though no date or location for the party has been finalized.
“If anyone is interested in participating at next year’s event, the wrap party would be a great time to come talk to the leadership committee,” Roose said.