Relay for Life begins with inspirational Torch of Hope


Relay For Life is a celebration of survivorship and showing cancer who is boss. Each year the Relay For Life of Fayette County starts off with a Torch of Hope relay. The relay starts this Friday at 4 p.m. with a gathering of the Torch of Hope team at the Heritage Park fountain in Fayetteville. The Torch of Hope members gather for a group photo, the group pauses for a prayer of thanksgiving, and then the 28 cancer survivors receive Torch of Hope Relay participation medals. This year the medals will be bestowed by Tyrone Mayor, Don Rehwaldt.  The 28 survivors represent a variety of Fayette county schools, churches, businesses and municipalities. Some participants are employed by Delta Air Lines, J93.3 FM and Georgia Power. Some have been cancer free for many years, others are more recently diagnosed. Two of the participants will have chemotherapy just days before participating.  

 After the 4 p.m. ceremony the Torch of Hope Team will then board a bus which trails the individual torch bearers. The procession has a police escort as it leaves the square and proceeds south down Georgia Hwy 85, turns right onto Beauregard and proceeds to Redwine Road.  The torch will be passed to another cancer survivor every quarter mile as it travels down Redwine Road, through the New Haven Subdivision, down Bernard Road, out to Highway 85 South, over to Goza Road and finally into the Kiwanis Fair Complex.  The public is welcome and encouraged to safely line the relay route and cheer for the torch carriers as they pass. 
 When the torch arrives at Relay it will be met by a motorcycle escort, the Harley Owners Group Club Number 2505 from Great South Chapter – Newnan and the Chick-Fil_A’s Moo Cow Bikers from Fayetteville. After a lap of the Relay track, the torch will then be passed to this year’s Relay For Life Torch Ambassadors.

The honor of lighting the torch at relay will be shared by two inspiring cancer survivors; Raman Franklin and Kathy Warren. Raman is a first grader at Fayette Christian Academy. He has known Warren for several years and they have a unique bond.  Warren taught kindergarten to Raman’s older sister, and last year, at his parent’s request, she was Raman’s kindergarten teacher.  Both Raman and Warren are cancer survivors.  Raman was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of three, and recently completed his third year of chemotherapy.  Warren is an eight year survivor of breast cancer.  The torch lighting will take place at 7 p.m.  

The 2010 Torch of Hope ‘Runners’ and the groups they represent: Jody Abigando, Piedmont Fayette Hospital; Beryl Bacon-Jones, Delta Air Lines; Dick Bowley, First Baptist PTC; Ron Bozek, PTC Christian Church; Isis Butler, Georgia Cancer Specialists; Josh Collins, Fayetteville Fire Department; Don Dailey, Peachtree City Christian Church, Yvenante Damis, Delta Air Lines; Daniel Dixon, Georgia Power; Pam Dykes, Georgia Power; Pamela Elhers, Fayette Middle School – Honey Bee Team; Raman Franklin*, Fayette Christian Academy; Teresita Gavora, Delta Community Credit Union; Angie Hall, Sara Harp Minter Elementary; Pat Imsand, Amcor/St. Mathews Catholic Church; Jim Kulaga, Holy Trinity Catholic Church; Bob Mann; Ophelia Mustain, Sara Harp Minter Elementary; Sandi Napper, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity; Nancy Norris, Piedmont Fayette Hospital; Beth Phillips; Gary Pittard, Southern Federal Credit Union; Sheila Richards, J93.3 FM; Sue Spears; Rebecca Swanson, Providence Methodist Church; Tracy Tyree, Sara Harp Minter Elementary, Kathy Warren*, Hood Ave Primary School and Karon Wilckens, Braelinn Elementary School.

*Ramen Franklin and Kathy Warren are the 2010 Relay For Life Torch Ambassadors.  They will light the large Torch of Hope at Relay. 

The 2010 Relay For Life of Fayette County will be held on Friday, Apr. 30 and continue until dawn Saturday morning.  Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature event, and its largest single fundraiser.  The goal for this year’s Fayette County Relay is $430,000.  The money raised is used for patient care and services, cancer treatment, research and cure development.  The public is encouraged and welcome to attend Relay.  Lively entertainment is planned all night long.  Food and drink will be available for purchase with all proceeds going to Relay For Life.  The event will conclude at sunrise Saturday morning with an award ceremony for the teams who have participated.   For additional information, please contact the Relay For Life of Fayette County web site at