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Torch Run salutes survivors

By Staff | Apr 3, 2009

Bobbi Smith, mom; watches as Terri Flora, Granny, carry Krystyna Smith, 4, while wielding the Cancer Survivor Torch last year. Photo by Ron Agnir

Shepherdstown residents and business owners have a unique opportunity today to show their support for local cancer survivors during the kickoff ceremony for Shepherd University’s American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

Beginning at 4 p.m., organizers hope to see people flocking to the downtown area to line the sidewalks along the Torch Run route – German Street from Duke to King and King Street on the East Campus.

The Torch Run heads up the 14-hour on-campus relay during which team members will continue to walk all night.

Organizer Holly Morgan Frye, director of Shepherd’s Student Community Services hopes residents will support the event.

“I want people in Shepherdstown to understand why the event is overnight,” Frye said. The 4 p.m. start in the daylight represents a healthy person. “It gets dark, and that symbolizes a person being diagnosed with cancer. We go into the dark hours, and candles are lit … That symbolizes hope for our people who are fighting cancer. … At 6 a.m. when the sun comes up, that symbolizes that they have been cured, and there is help.”

Relay For Life is the ACS’s signature activity. It offers everyone in a community an opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer. Teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Many raise cancer research money as part of Relay. Relays are an overnight event, up to 24 hours in length.

Relay For Life is a life-changing event that brings together more than 3.5 million people to:

Celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer. The strength of survivors inspires others to continue to fight.

Remember loved ones lost to the disease. At Relay, people who have walked alongside people battling cancer can grieve and find healing.

Fight Back. We Relay because we have been touched by cancer and desperately want to put an end to the disease.