Throngs of dancers, deafening music and a capacity crowd clad in costumes rocked the Limestone County Event Center on Friday night and into daybreak Saturday, but the center hadn’t morphed into a techno nightclub or a Lady Gaga concert.
Instead, the downtown venue served as an alternate location for the Limestone Relay for Life, which began at 7 p.m. Friday with a survivor lap and closed at 7 a.m. Saturday by remembering loved ones and encouraging survivors to continue their efforts to challenge the disease.
Relay for Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. The event is held at the Athens Sportsplex, but forecasts of heavy rain compelled organizers to move the event indoors.
Superheroes for cancer
The venue change and the torrential rain that pelted Athens late Friday night did not seem to affect the large turnout. Many in attendance wore superhero-themed costumes to reflect this year’s theme, “Saving the World, One Cure at a Time.”
Athens High School sophomore Marie Trent, 16, walked dozens of laps in a red cape, light blue tights and shiny black boots as the mascot for Wonder Women of JNES.
The Wonder Women were raising money in memory of the late Elizabeth “Libby” Glasscock McDaniel, who died in December and was a kindergarten teacher at Julian Newman Elementary School for 38 years.
Wearing a bright pink zebra print cape and T-shirt, Limestone County Schools administrative assistant Chery Campbell helped organize a spur-of-the-moment addition to the Relay field, the Central Office’s Caped Crusaders.
The team included Pam Malone, a cancer survivor, and the family of Tom Sisk, whose father died from cancer. Sisk’s daughter, Katie, has been in remission from Diffuse B-cell lymphoma for the past 2 1/2 years.
Katie Sisk, 20, works at Athens-Limestone Hospital and will likely study nursing at Calhoun Community College. She said she eventually planned to pursue a degree in pediatric oncology.