Relay for Life draws large crowd, dedicated to longtime helper

Matthew Strother

April 28, 2014

Thousands of people showed up Friday for the 2014 Troup County Relay for Life at the Chris Joseph track on Fort Drive, which was dedicated this year to a Parks and Recreation employee who died days before the event.

Lynn Howard, Troup County Relay for Life committee member, told the crowd gathered at the track Friday that this year’s event was in tribute to Allen Cadwell, a Parks and Recreation employee who was killed in a wreck Wednesday. Cadwell had long been involved in Relay for Life and had been helping with preparations for this year’s event.

He was “an enthusiastic Relay for Lifer,” Howard said. “He will be greatly missed for all he did … He was the kind of person that would do anything for anyone. Thank you Allen, we know you’re watching us.”

The event kicked off with a survivors’ lap by those who have had cancer and their caregivers. Ruth Garner, a 73-year-old survivor of thyroid cancer, was grand marshal for this year’s event and kicked off the lap.

“Let the Relay for Life begin,” she said, officially starting the event about 7 p.m.

The event continued with a luminary ceremony in memory of those who died at 10 p.m. Bands played live music until midnight. Participants also got a 1 a.m. Zumba session, then final lap and closing ceremonies began about 6 a.m. Saturday, wrapping up the 12-hour event.

According to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life website this morning, 41 teams and 432 participants had raised $57,150.09 prior to the event. Collections for Relay for Life continue through the end of August and committe member Karen Smith said about $11,500 was raised on Friday, which had not been added into the total.

The goal for this year is to raise $110,000.