Athens and Limestone Pour on the Purple to Support Relay for Life

By  | May 5, 2017 | Filed under: News

ATHENS-When you hear the word “cancer” you likely think of a person you love who has battled or is battling the disease.


Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks lost a brother to cancer. Limestone County Commission Chairman Mark Yarbrough recently lost his father to cancer. Both leaders met to proclaim May 8-12 as Paint the Town Purple Week to encourage the community to educate themselves about cancer, donate to fight cancer, and support those in Athens and Limestone County who battle cancer.

Holly Hollman


“Each year we all are reminded how cancer is not nameless,” said City of Athens Relay for Life Team Captain Holly Hollman. “Each of us can think of someone we know who has been impacted by it. At the city, we recently lost a co-worker to colon cancer and soon after had a co-worker diagnosed with breast cancer.”


Michelle Williamson, team captain with County for a Cure, said the Limestone County Courthouse is lighting up purple to honor Relay for Life. Businesses, agencies, churches, schools and individuals can celebrate by decorating their spaces in purple and wearing purple all week. Those who participate can post pictures with the hashtag #AthensLimestoneRelay


There are 25 teams participating in this year’s Relay for Life of Limestone County. Those teams have raised $34,861.86 and have set a goal of $70,000. Many teams have not yet turned in all of their funds. Money raised supports the American Cancer Society’s efforts to educate, conduct research, and provide patient services, such as Hope Lodge in Birmingham.

Mayor Marks and Chairman Yarbrough “calling out to the community” to Paint the Town Purple.

Relay for Life of Limestone County has the following events planned for Paint the Town Purple Week:


  • Monday – Survivor Dinner at 6 p.m. (register at 5 p.m.) at the First Baptist Family Life Center. Dinner provided. Please RSVP by calling 256-535-1090.


  • Tuesday – Bank Night for all Relay teams in Limestone County.


  • Thursday – Dan Williams Memorial Blood Drive, east side of Courthouse, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Drink plenty of water prior to donating. Goal is 25 pints. Williams, former mayor and state representative, died from leukemia. He needed blood transfusions while battling the disease.


  • Thursday – Memorial Relay Tree Lighting at the dogwood on east side of the courthouse at 6 p.m. Tie a ribbon in memory or honor of someone who is battling or has battled cancer. Survivors can wear purple and caregivers can wear white.


  • Friday – Relay Night at the Sportsplex from 6 p.m. to midnight. Steelcase has sponsored a bouncy house for children. Teams will set up tent sites and sell items or have activities. Opening ceremonies will be at 7 p.m. with a Survivors Walk, Caregivers Walk, First Responders/Active Military/Veterans Walk and Team Walk. There will be music, Zumba and more. Kona Ice, HealthSource and Our Little Kitchen Food Truck will donate part of their proceeds from the night to Relay.


It is not too late to join or start a team. For more information about Relay for Life of Limestone County, contact Cherry Hammonds, community manager, Relay For Life, Mid-South Division at or by phone at 256-221-3926.

                                              2017 Paint the Town Purple Proclamation


WHEREAS, there will be an estimated 26,160 new cases of selected cancers in Alabama for 2017, according to the American Cancer Society; and


WHEREAS, there will be an estimated 10,530 deaths for selected cancers in Alabama for 2017, according to the American Cancer Society; and


WHEREAS, the American Cancer Society fights to find cures for all forms of cancer and provide information on prevention and treatment; and


WHEREAS, the American Cancer Society has funded more than $4 billion in cancer research since its founding, and that it provides patient support such as Hope Lodge in Birmingham and a 24-hour toll free support line; and


WHEREAS, cancer death rates peaked in 1991 due to increased tobacco usage but by 2014 the death rates declined 25 percent due to anti-smoking education and improvements in cancer detection and treatments, and;


WHEREAS, Relay for Life encourages individuals, businesses, and community groups to fundraise for the American Cancer Society in Athens and Limestone and to educate their citizens; and


WHEREAS, money raised during last year’s Relay for Life campaign in Athens and Limestone County provided local cancer patients with an informational hotline, support programs, lodging assistance, and more; and


WHEREAS, our communities in Athens and Limestone County are impacted daily when families, friends, neighbors, and co-workers are diagnosed with cancer; and


WHEREAS, the City of Athens and Limestone County Commission support Relay for Life by allowing employees to volunteer on teams; and


WHEREAS, Relay for Life of Limestone County will be held May 12 to celebrate the 2016-17 campaign year;


Now, therefore, I, William R. “Ronnie” Marks, Mayor of Athens, and Mark Yarbrough, Commission Chairman of Limestone County, do hereby proclaim May 8-12 as Paint the Town Purple Week in Athens and Limestone County and urge all citizens to participate in Relay activities, educate themselves about cancer prevention and treatments, and support finding a cure.

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