Each January, cancer survivors -- and loved ones left behind by the ferocious disease -- begin a new season of fundraising to help the American Cancer Society find a cure.
The Dyer County Relay for Life Kickoff will take place at the Student Center at Dyersburg State Community College at 6 p.m., on Thursday, Jan. 10.
This year's speaker is Kay Curry, a lifelong resident of Dyersburg and an avid community volunteer. Curry was diagnosed with colon cancer on March 14, 2003. She will soon celebrate a decade of life after the disease.
Curry is the mother of two daughters, Allison Phelps of Memphis and Ann Proud of Dyersburg. She also has three grandchildren, David, Georgianne and Molly Kate. Curry joins the 2013 Dyer County Relay for Life team as Team Development Chair.
"We are so honored to have Kay join us this year as our speaker," said 2013 Dyer County Relay for Life committee member Rachel Cartwright. "She is such an asset to her church, her community and her friends. We are grateful to her for sharing her journey with us."
Dyersburg High School graduate Jeremy Maze will also join Relay volunteers at the event.
Maze, who is currently undergoing treatment for sinus cancer, has inspired the Dyer County community with his courage and determination. Maze will talk about what it is like to battle cancer as a high school and college student.
"Anyone that is interested in having a team is encouraged to come to kickoff," said Cartwright. "We will have computers available for individuals and teams to register on site."
Volunteers will also be on hand to help with questions from those interested in forming a team.
As always, all cancer survivors and caregivers are welcome to attend all Relay for Life events. From the kickoff to the overnight Relay for Life celebration, a special place is always set aside for those personally touched by cancer.
"We want to celebrate them," said Cartwright. "We want to extend a special invitation to all cancer survivors and caregivers. They will be our honored guests at the kickoff, as well as the reception and Relay."
This season residents will have an opportunity to add a more personal touch to their luminaries. A luminary decorating station will be available for those who wish to personalize a luminary in honor or in memory of someone. Following tradition, the luminaries will be on display around the walking path the night of Dyer County's annual Relay for Life event.
Residents attending Thursday's kickoff will also have the opportunity to vote in the annual Relay for Life Poster Contest.
Northview Middle School and Three Oaks Middle School students have been working on posters reflecting the 2013 Relay for Life theme "Journey to a Cure."
"Everyone is invited to come and see the work of our local middle school artists," said Cartwright. "Everyone that comes is asked to vote for their favorite poster. We also want to invite all past sponsors and teams to come out and kick off the 2013 RFL with us. We still have plenty of space available for more teams and sponsors."
Residents interested in joining the Dyer County Relay for Life Committee or just helping out with the 2013 RFL event are also welcome to attend.