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Relay for Life raises more than $233,000 for American Cancer Society

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By Caroline Curran, Reporter

SHALLOTTE—Nearly 800 people walked and walked into the evening, throughout the night and into the morning, all to raise money and awareness May 4-5 for the American Cancer Society.

Brunswick County’s 15th annual Relay for Life had 70 teams participate. More than $233,000 was raised during the event, according to preliminary numbers tallied by Erica O’Brien, community coordinator with the American Cancer Society.

At 6 p.m. Friday, May 4, the event at West Brunswick High School in Shallotte kicked off with its opening ceremonies, complete with the signature event, the survivor lap, open to all cancer survivors.

One of those walkers was 11-year-old Nicholas Black, who was first diagnosed with cancer at 2-and-a-half years old. Black has been cancer-free since 2004, and on Friday, he led Relay’s signature event, the survivor lap.

Ninety-nine-year-old Mildred DeMarco, Relay’s oldest cancer survivor to participate, and a track full of Brunswick County cancer survivors joined Black for the survivor lap.

Relay for Life organizers praised this year’s event.

“This was the biggest Relay we have had. We had a wonderful turnout, and didn’t have any problems. We had more teams that stayed during the night,” organizer Dee Carlisle said. “It is a somber time, but this year we wanted to also have something upbeat with the fight back ceremony. You can still remember those loved ones who passed away, but they don’t want you to stay sad forever,” Carlisle said.

Carlisle said Relay participants enjoyed the various events going on throughout the night, from a Lady Gaga impersonation contest to a womanless beauty pageant.

Caroline Curran is a staff writer at The Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or ccurran@brunswickbeacon.com.