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Teams, organizers gather for 2013 Relay for Life launch

The 2013 Relay for Life in Madison recently got a head start in its work to benefit the American Cancer Society.
Dance Trance performed at the 2013 Relay for Life kickoff.

The 2013 relay will be held on May 10 at Madison City Schools Stadium.

The launch party at XPA Allstar Gym on Oct. 2 served “to thank and recognize teams and sponsors from the last relay and to kickoff the new relay season,” co-chairman Leigh Christian said. Jennifer Chaplin is serving as 2013 relay chairman, Christian as co-chairman and Beth Haynes as staff partner.

Setting an upbeat pace, Dance Trance Huntsville-Madison started the session with a hard-driving dance while wearing gloves of purple, relay’s signature color.

Organizers recognized Donna Gale Preston as memorial chair. “Donna recently passed away (not from cancer). She had a passion for Relay for Life and had chaired the Mount Zion Baptist Church relay team since before Madison relay began,” Christian said.

Top teams for Cheering for Madonna (Madonna Holladay) and Cancer Kickers from Liberty Middle School also were recognized.

Participants shared their reasons for getting involved with Relay for Life. A person’s motivation “varies from family, friends to teachers who have died, those that have survived, those not wanting any of them to get the disease and those hoping a cure could be found,” Christian said.

The 2013 relay will have an Olympic theme, “Rings of Hope — Let the Fight Begin,” with related games and activities. “A torch will show up all over town for many events to remind people about relay and to help us remember those we have lost, celebrate those that have survived and fight back so we won’t hear those terrible words … ‘You have cancer,” Christian said.

Residents can help Relay for Life by joining a team, working on a committee, being a sponsor and buying luminaries in honor or memory of an individual.

“I got involved for my daughter. Her dad had cancer. I wanted her to feel like she was doing something to help him. We want a cure!” Christian said.

For more information, call 256-535-1088 or visit relayforlife.org/madisonal or Facebook/American Cancer Society Relay for Life in Madison.

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