By JANIE SLAVEN
McCreary County’s 16th annual Relay For Life attracted hundreds Friday night despite chilly temperatures.
Volunteers raised $30,600, according to American Cancer Society Mid-South Director Julie Waters, with more donations expected to come in.
Pat Hopper, a 10-year breast cancer survivor from Russell Springs, served as the Hero of Hope Speaker. She greeted some 50 cancer survivors as they were recognized by Sheriff Gus Skinner.
Skinner touched hearts with his personal story of losing his first wife to cancer, and he gave special recognition to Darren Keith who was in attendance with his family following months in the hospital due to a serious ATV accident.
Immediately following, the survivors lapped around the McCreary Central High track during a special performance by Holly Daugherty.
By dark, the track had been lined for the Luminaria Ceremony which honors and memorializes all who have battled cancer.
The overnight event celebrated the beginning of Saturday with a Fight Back Ceremony at midnight.
Participating teams included: Bank of McCreary County, Cub Scouts, Dollar General, Lifeline, Limber Legged Librarians, McCreary County Middle School, OVC, Taylor Two and Forcht Bank.
Waters also wanted to recognize Larry Davis, Neon Country and the Sweet Sensations for Sunday’s Elvis tribute.
This year’s sponsors were: Arby’s, Dollar General, Highland Telephone, Mc-Donald’s, Pine Knot Funeral Home, KFB, Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital, MBR-TV, McCreary County Record, OVC and McCreary County Voice.