Dillwyn's Hope Day Is Saturday

Published 12:58 pm Thursday, April 23, 2015

DILLWYN — The Town of Dillwyn and American Cancer Society Relay For Life’s second annual Hope Day will be held on Saturday, April 25, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the First Baptist Church on Oak Street in Dillwyn.

The event, which will include food, music, and kids games, will celebrate local cancer survivors, according to Donna L. McRae-Jones, who is chairman of the Survivors Activities.

“Last year, Mayor [Linda Venable] Paige, at the event, declared it an annual day for Relay for Life…to recognize cancer survivors, and…it became the Town of Dillwyn’s Hope Day,” Jones told The Herald recently.

In a push to “paint the town purple,” McCrae-Jones and other volunteers with Relay have been selling and affixing purple bows to lampposts and businesses’ doors throughout the town in an effort to bring awareness to the event’s cause.

McRae-Jones, who has lost two sisters, family members, and friends to cancer, says that Pastor Billy Swann will be the keynote speaker at 11:30 a.m. The Buckingham County Middle and High School band and choir will perform at 12 p.m., survivors will speak at 2 p.m., and the American Cancer Society will give a presentation at 3 p.m.

The emcees for the event include Mayor Paige and Nancy McCaig of radio station WBNN in Dillwyn.

“I get so much enjoyment out of working for the American Cancer Society,” noted Bobbie Holman, who is heading up the “Buckingham Divas” Relay for Life team. “…I feel like we’ve been making a lot of progress, research that is really helping, lives are being extended, and, in some cases, lives are being saved.”

In the case of inclement weather, the event will be moved inside the church, says McRae-Jones.

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According to the American Cancer Society, survivors participate in Relay events to meet other survivors, serve as an inspiration to those newly diagnosed with the disease, and publicly recognize and thank caregivers for their support and encouragement.

This year, about 589,430 Americans are expected to die of cancer, cites the American Cancer Society, or about 1,620 people per day. “Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the U.S., exceeded only by heart disease, and accounts for nearly one of every four deaths,” cites a report. This year, about 1,658,370 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed, cites the report.

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This year’s Buckingham Relay For Life Main Event will be combined with Cumberland’s, and will be held on Friday, May 8, from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Cumberland County High School off of U.S. Route 60. The event will kick off with an opening ceremony at 5 p.m., followed by a survivors and caregivers lap at 5:15 p.m. with a reception following. The Relay Luminaria ceremony will be held at 9 p.m., followed by a closing ceremony at 10:45 p.m.

According to the event’s website, 10 teams and 54 participants are signed up, and have raised over $4,900 for the American Cancer Society so far.

For more information on Dillwyn’s Hope Day, contact McRae-Jones at 434-983-7386, and for more information on the Buckingham Relay For Life, or to purchase bows, luminaries, or form Relay teams, contact Susanna Blauch at 434-978-7423 or e-mail Susanna.Blauch@cancer.org.