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If you were at the 51st annual Lanierland Basketball Tournament, you saw the coaches on the benches wearing an unusual color: purple. Since no team's color or mascots are purple, you may have been a little confused.
However, what these coaches were so graciously doing was raising awareness for the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life. As area director for the American Cancer Society, I would like to thank all the coaches and Tournament Director Ross Davis for their unanimous agreement to willing wear the shirts and bring recognition to the work of the American Cancer Society.
In light of the coaches' positions as community leaders and role models for youth and adults alike, their joining in the community fight against cancer presents an excellent opportunity to enhance community relations and create a positive energy for Relay For Life of Hall County. The event is conducted not simply to raise funds but to give the Society a local presence, and provide communities the opportunity to own our mission.
Just as the Lanierland Tournament brings Hall County together every December, for 17 years Relay For Life of Hall County has brought neighbors, friends and co-workers together in one spot, for one night, for one cause; to find a cure for cancer. Relay celebrates with cancer survivors, remembers those who have lost their battle to the disease, and fights back in the hopes that cancer will not affect another life.
By wearing the purple shirts, the coaches are just another great example of the servant heart of the community. Over the last four years, Relay For Life has raised more than $2 million. Last year, by the time the survivor's made their victory lap around the track, 120 teams and 2,500 participants had signed up to help Hall County fund the cure for Cancer.
Already, over 70 community teams and 500 participants have signed up to participate in this year's Relay For Life of Hall County, which will take place June 3-4 at Road Atlanta.
Again, I want to thank the coaches and tournament staff. For more information about Relay For Life of Hall County, visit www.hallrelay.com. I hope to see everyone in Hall County on the track in June.
Area Executive Director, American Cancer Society, South Atlantic Division