Cancer survivors, caregivers, community supporters, and those who have lost loved ones to the disease are coming together for this year’s Relay For Life in Cherokee County on Saturday, April 13, at Etowah River Park in Canton.

The American Cancer Society in Cherokee County hosts this event, bringing the community together this spring for the first time in several years for Relay For Life, part of the largest volunteer-based fundraising event to raise money to fight the disease. The theme for this year’s local event is “Community Strong: Fighting Cancer Together.”

“With the Relay For Life, volunteers with the American Cancer Society in Cherokee County hope to bring the discussion and awareness of cancer back to the forefront in our community in an effort to connect both survivors and caregivers as of way of coping together. We want to celebrate, remember, and fight back together,” says volunteer Bonny Spears.

Bonny was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2018 and is now cancer-free. She volunteers her time with events such as Relay For Life. The Canton resident said she is excited to be a part of the rebirth of the American Cancer Society in Cherokee County, including last December’s Love Lights a Tree, and other upcoming events the local group hopes to host.

Relay For Life: A Local Effort

Relay For Life is a grassroots effort in Cherokee County, with team captains and volunteers hard at work for months leading up to the event to raise money for the battle against cancer.

Team Captain Regina Parrish, a breast cancer survivor and Canton resident, says she is all in to do everything she can to help with the fundraising efforts to fight cancer.

“Cancer takes so much. Anything I can do to help ensure that those I love never have to experience cancer, I’m all in. Anything I can do to help those I love that are on the cancer path, I’m all in. Anything I can do to help get assistance and make information available, I’m all in,” Regina says. She encourages everyone to pitch in what they can, as it all adds up.

So far this year, Relay For Life of Cherokee County volunteers and teams have raised more than $31,000 in pledges and support. Presented by Northside Hospital Cancer Institute, the event will be held at Etowah River Park from 4:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Nina’s Pizza Kitchen is hosting a mini-concert featuring Mood Swingz to benefit Relay For Life! Enjoy live music and pizza from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16. Proceeds go directly to Rays of Hope’s team for Relay For Life.

Getting On Track

Community members take turns walking around a track lined with luminaria bags. Those who come out to the event will have the opportunity to cheer for local survivors, or participate as a survivor, in the first lap of the day.

“All attendees of the event are asked to line the track during the survivor lap and cheer on our survivors,” Bonny says. “We will take time to remember those we have lost to cancer and reflect on the journey of those who have survived.”

Survivors will line up in front of the stage at 4:00 p.m. for the opening ceremony and survivor lap. Those in attendance are asked to bring noise makers, pom-poms, and anything else one might bring to a pep rally to cheer survivors on.

At sunset, the luminaria bags will be lit for the final lap, a signature element of every Relay For Life event. The luminaria, decorated with the names of loved ones, are lit in honor and in memory of a life touched by cancer.

There will be live entertainment throughout the evening as well as vendors and kids’ activities available. Food will be available for purchase throughout the evening. Etowah River Park is located at 600 Brown Industrial Parkway in Canton. On-site parking is available.

Donations, registration, and luminaria purchases can be found at For more information visit or follow Relay For Life of Cherokee County, GA on Facebook.


American Cancer Society / Relay for Life / Cherokee County 2024



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