The 2012 Pettis County Relay For Life is set to take place this Friday on the Missouri State Fairgrounds. In this event, teams are formed and they raise funds through pledges and other fund raising events leading up to the relay.  On Saturday night starting at 6, walkers will take turns going around the track for 12 hours.

According to the official event page, there are 26 teams and 317 registered participants this year.  Their efforts have raised $54,250 at the time I’m writing this, making it one of the most successful fundraising events of the year.

Should you go out there to cheer on a friend or just stand in support of the people walking, you won’t be disappointed.  Each team is given an area that they decorate to go along with their theme.  The Relay starts with a survivor’s lap, where everyone that has beaten cancer goes around the track at once, celebrating their victory while the rest of the walkers cheering them on.  There is also a luminaria and a “Fight Back” ceremony.

I cannot think of anyone that hasn’t had cancer touch their lives in some way.  My father and my grandfather as well as other family members and friends have succumbed to this disease.  Whether you are there as a spectator or participant, the Relay for Life is always and emotional and, above all else, hopeful event.