Grayson County kicked off for the 2018 Relay for Life fundraising season at Texoma Medical Center Thursday. The event was held several months before the usual January kickoff in order to allow teams more time to meet goals.


Held in the conference rooms at TMC, the informational event provided participants with a chance to ask questions of the Event Leadership Team. Relay for Life benefits the American Cancer Society.


The actual relay is a four- to five-hour event consisting of teams alternating turns as they walk around a track to show that cancer never sleeps. The community-based event raises billions of dollars all over the world.


Team co-leader for the event Brooke Bond said she has been participating locally for eight years.


“When I first started it was a sad story,” Bond said. “A good friend of ours passed away from cancer. It was the first person that I personally knew who passed away from cancer. Also, a young man that attended our church was fighting cancer. So, I said, what’s a way I can give back? Right about the same time a friend of mine started participating in Relay and I said I want to participate too.”


Bond went on to explain this year’s event is different from previous years. The relay will be taken back outside and will be held earlier in the day. The once 24-hour event is now shorter to make it more convenient for participants.


“We really want to make sure that we’re cognizant of what other people have going on in their lives,” Bond said. “A lot of people think relay so they think running but it’s not. It’s a time for people to get together. It’s a great community outreach event where we get together and remember those that have fought the fight and those that are still fighting.”


The event began in 1985 when Dr. Gordon Klatt walked and ran around a track in Tacoma, Washington for 24 hours. He raised $27,000 and inspired the global fundraising event Relay for Life, as it is known today.


Bond said it is important for people to realize spreading the word about the event and volunteering their time is just as important as giving money. Those who can’t afford to give financially can still contribute.


“It’s important to remember those that have gone on, remember those that are survivors, remember those that are fighting,” Bond said. “We want to raise money so that one day we won’t have something like the American Cancer Society because we won’t have cancer. That’s the goal.”


The 2018 Grayson County event will be held at Scott Middle School in Denison on April 14 at 3 p.m. Several promotional events will be held leading up to the relay. For more information on ways to participate visit www.relayforlife.org/graysoncotx