The Blennerhassett Corvette Association donated $1,000 to the Williamstown Relay For Life. Left to right are Dee Flagg, Member, Cindy Flagg, Member, Danny Stephans, Member, Elaine Bender, Chief Volunteer, and Gary Secoy, President of the Blennerhassett Corvette Association. Member Liz Matheny was not pictured. (Photo by James Dobbs)

WILLIAMSTOWN – Stormy weather didn’t stop Williamstown’s 17th Relay For Life Friday night as the event moved inside Williamstown’s First Baptist Church.

This year’s theme was The Relay Through the Decades.

“This event is in its 17th edition. So we wanted to do a few decades to change things up a bit and know that we have been working towards hope for a long time”, said Carmen Hathaway, senior development officer at the American Cancer Society.

Eight teams were registered for the event, which began Friday afternoon with open ceremonies.

Patricia Brown was the Grand Marshal this year. During the opening ceremonies, Brown shared her cancer story.

“My journey started in June 2017 when I felt something different about my right breast,” she says.

After a mammogram and ultrasound came back normal, the doctor ordered an MRI and found two tumors in Brown’s right breast. In March 2018, she underwent a double mastectomy. Last July, doctors discovered another tumor between Brown’s ribs and it was removed in November. She was later diagnosed with stage four triple negative breast cancer. She started chemotherapy in January this year and finished it in May. His radiotherapy will end next week.

“But what I want you all to know is that through all of this ordeal and you know what an ordeal it is, you’re here because you’ve had cancer or you’ve taken care of someone. who had cancer, she says. “I have been blessed. I found many things to be grateful for.

Brown said she was grateful to her husband, grandchildren and the rest of her family and friends who gave her support when she needed it most.

After the opening ceremonies, the survivors marched around the church and were led by Brown for the first round of survivors. Caregivers were invited to join during the second round.

The purse and pie auction started at 7 p.m. Purses, pies, cakes, backpacks and gift baskets were auctioned off by auctioneer Mike Voshel.

Around 7:50 p.m., the Road to Recovery Grand Prix race took place. It featured younger children racing around the church in colorful car outfits.

The luminaria ceremony began around 9:30 p.m. Usually, bagged candles are lit in remembrance of loved ones lost to cancer. This year, because the event was indoors, the candles were replaced with battery-operated candles. The closing ceremonies were scheduled for 10 p.m.

Hathaway said event proceeds approached $10,000 before the start of the relay. She said she wasn’t sure they would hit their $20,000 goal this year, but said everyone was working incredibly hard to try and get there.

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