$40,000 raised to ‘finish cancer fight’

First Byline: 
Jonathan Vickery - Staff Writer

Barnwell County residents raised more than $40,000 for cancer research Friday night, April 25, during Relay for Life.
Hundreds of residents converged on Barnwell Veterans Park for an evening of fun and fundraising. The event included approximately 20 teams selling a variety of items, from jambalaya and alligator tail to fried Oreos.
While there were many fun events, Relay concerns a serious topic. It raises money to support cancer research and programs for cancer patients through the American Cancer Society.
The impact cancer has had on Barnwell County was clear throughout the evening, including during the survivor's lap. "The survivor lap always gets to me. They are our heroes," said Teresa Sanders, chair of the Relay for Life committee, of seeing those who have survived cancer walk together in unison.
Another group of heroes, county firefighters, were also honored with a lap. The firefighters lap was a new addition to the event this year. Firefighters from area departments raised more than $350 for their lap. This was enjoyed by many, including Norma Spencer Rock, who wrote on Facebook that seeing the firefighters walking the lap touched her.
Hundreds of luminaries lit up the track all night containing the names of those who have been affected by cancer. Many were decorated by the loved ones of the person represented on the luminary. At 10 p.m., more than 300 names were read during the luminary service.
The service was followed by a silent lap in honor of those whose names were read. "Hearing the names of those we have lost to cancer touches my heart," said Sanders.
People came out for a variety of reasons, though many were there to honor or remember those affected by cancer. "I went to honor the memory of my brother Pedro," said Joshua Saxton on Facebook, who was also touched by the silent lap.
"I love it when the community can come together for such a great cause," said Sanders.
Donations can be made anytime to the ACS at cancer.org.