Hope, Fight, Relay: Athens and Limestone communities passionate about purple

By  | April 30, 2018 | Filed under: News

ATHENS-The American Cancer Society estimates there will be 27,380 new cases of selected cancers in Alabama this year, with 10,720 deaths.

 

Those numbers personally impact a community when they become names and faces of family members, friends, neighbors or co-workers. That impact hit close to the Relay for Life of Limestone County family on April 12 when long-time Relay for Life supporter Esther Jernigan died from her battle. Jernigan, often seen wearing purple, was captain of the Survivors’ Team and raised money through bake sales and other endeavors.

 

“Her names was synonymous with Relay for Life, and her leadership and love have been such an integral part of our Limestone Relay family,” said Cherry Hammonds, Community Development manager for the American Cancer Society office in Huntsville.

 

Hammond’s said Jernigan’s legacy lives on as does her inspiration to us.

 

On Monday, April 30, Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks and Limestone County Commission Chairman Mark Yarbrough declared April 30-May 4 as Paint the Town Purple Week in Athens and Limestone County. The proclamation encourages citizens to participate in Relay for Life activities, educate themselves about cancer prevention and treatments, and support finding a cure.

 

Throughout the week, there will be community activities:

 

  • Monday, April 30, 6 p.m. – Survivors’ Dinner at the Limestone County Event Center
  • Tuesday, May 1, 4:30 p.m. – Bank Night at First National Bank, where the teams turn in what they raised
  • Thursday, May 3, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Dan Williams Memorial Blood Drive at Athens City Hall held in memory of former mayor and state representative Dan Williams
  • Thursday, May 3, 5:30 p.m. – Memory Celebration on the east side of the Limestone County Courthouse where anyone can tie a purple ribbon on the tree in memory or honor of those who battle cancer.
  • Friday, May 4, 6 p.m. to midnight – Relay Night for Relay for Life of Limestone County at the Limestone County Event Center. Team campsites will be decorated in different eras for the theme “Hope Through the Decades,” chosen in honor of 2018 being Athens and Limestone County’s bicentennial year. There will be a Survivor’s lap, team lap, food, activities, and more.

 

Businesses, schools, churches and other groups who dress up or decorate in purple can send their purple pix to Holly Hollman at hhollman@athensal.us.

                                        2018 Paint the Town Purple Week Proclamation

 

WHEREAS, there will be an estimated 27,380 new cases of selected cancers and an estimated 10,720 deaths for selected cancers in Alabama in 2018, 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, American Cancer Society campaigns to increase the use of Pap testing and mammography have helped contribute to a 70% decrease in cervical cancer death rates since 1969 and a 39% decline in breast cancer death rates between 1989 and 2015; and

 

WHEREAS, the American Cancer Society joined with the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable to increase colorectal cancer screening among adults 50 and older to 80% by 2018; and

 

WHEREAS, Relay for Life encourages individuals, businesses, and community groups to fundraise for the American Cancer Society and educate citizens in Athens and Limestone County; 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 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 4 to celebrate the 2017-18 campaign year;

 

Now, therefore, I, William R. “Ronnie” Marks, Mayor of Athens, and Mark Yarbrough, Commission Chairman of Limestone County, do hereby proclaim April 30-May 4, 2018, 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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