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Relay bridges the generation gap

Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Members of the Lynchburg Elementary School Student Council had a team at this year’s Relay for Life, helping lead the youth movement in the fight against cancer. (MCN Photo by Robert Holman)

Cancer strikes without prejudice. It cares not about age, nor race.

According to an American Cancer Society report, there have been more than 140,000 new cases of cancer reported in the 45-years-old-and-under demographic this year alone. And an estimated 20,000 people in that age group will succumb to the disease this year.

Cancer affects young and old alike, more so when considering the number of young people who are related to a cancer patient.

At last weekend’s Moore County Relay for Life event, it was obvious that area youth want to take a stand as well. While the 12-hour event produced its share of somber moments, the night still bustled with excitement. It was as much a celebration of life as anything.

With a carnival-type atmosphere, the youth of Moore County poured out in droves to show their support.

“The young kids brought a tremendous energy that took us through the night,” said event chair Penny Smith. “They participated and competed in activities. They competed against each other; they were energetic and they kept the rest of us going until 6 a.m.

“Those kids that were down there never stopped. It was amazing really. We were very pleased to have that many young people stay all night long who really participated. I hope they had as much fun as we did watching them.”

This year’s Relay for Life campaign raised nearly $30,000, with the actual 12-hour Relay at Wiseman Park helping generate more than $11,000.

“We had a really good showing all night long,” added Smith. “We had lots of events; we had a spirit stick and it was really fun watching those people trying to compete with each other for that. That gave them something to focus on through the night as we all got tired and wet.”