In 2014, the Lincoln County Relay for Life painted the town purple. The annual fundraising event for the American Cancer Society moved from the Lincolnton High School Stadium to downtown Lincolnton. It was also held downtown in 2015. It moved back to the stadium in 2016. In 2019, the East Lincoln Relay and the Lincolnton Relay were held together at the LHS Stadium. Last year, the Lincoln County Relay combined with Gaston County for a combined event in July.
The 2022 Lincoln-Gaston Relay for Life is again being held at Gaston College in Dallas. It happens this Friday evening (April 29th).
The opening ceremony will be at 6 PM. Emilee Myers will sing the national anthem. The Survivors Victory Lap will happen along with a Caregivers Lap. Music & entertainment will begin at 7 PM. DJ Wavey William from WSGE Radio will entertain along with a performance by Roxanne Clark, Elite Southern Charms Teen Miss, the Mathis Family, and Girl Scouts.
A silent auction will happen during the first two hours.
The Luminary Ceremony will be at 8:30. A Motorcycle Bug Run will end the evening activities.
The very first Relay for Life began as a solo event. In May 1985, Dr. Gordon Klatt, a colorectal surgeon from Tacoma, Washington, walked around the track at a stadium in Tacoma for 24 hours after securing pledges from friends for each lap he walked. Some then decided to join him in his effort and paid $25 to run or walk 30 minutes with him. He walked a total of 83 miles and raised $27,000 for cancer research.
Relay for Life developed by expanding on Klatt's idea. In the early years, participants actually walked (or ran) and got pledges similar to what Klatt had done. Now it's limited to a survivors lap recognizing cancer survivors. The rest of the event is largely food, entertainment, and special events like a motorcycle 'bug run.' Participants still seek pledges, but they aren't related to laps as they once were. The Lincolnton Relay was first held in 1995.
Some earlier years, Relay was an all-night event. This year's Relay for Life will be from 6 - 9 PM. Food will be available for purchase throughout the entire event. Several of the teams will sell food at their team campsites as their Relay For Life Fundraiser.
Relay For Life is not a run, but a community-based walk event. Some of the teams will walk laps, but the purpose of the event is to celebrate survivors, remember those who lost their battle with cancer, and raise money for cancer research. Whether you are a member of one of the teams or not, you are invited to attend, enjoy the entertainment, perhaps some of the food on sale, show your support and make a contribution.
To get to the Relay for Life, take US321 to Grier Beam Blvd. and follow the signs.
So far, the Lincoln-Gaston Relay for Life has raised over $84,000 of a $100,000 goal.
CLICK HERE for more about the Lincoln-Gaston Relay for Life and to donate.