City of Athens Relay for Life Team

Limestone County Relay for Life will hold its annual celebration on May 14, 2021, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Marion Street with a luminary ceremony. Everyone is invited.

10th Annual City of Athens Relay for Life Bass Fishing Tournament

Online registration

first place 2015
2021 Bass Fishing Tournament Flyer

Why Do We Relay?

City of Athens Relay for Life Team theme this year: Cancer may have started the fight, but we will finish it.

Written by Holly Hollman for The News-Courier special section for Relay for Life

Dear Community,

“I have cancer.”

Three words, three difficult words for a daughter, niece and friend to hear. Fear, dread, sorrow and anger seemed to pound from each heartbeat when I first heard them from my mother who had uterine cancer, and then again from several friends who had breast cancer, throat cancer, leukemia – too many cancers to name.

After the emotions comes the questions. What stage is it? Can it be treated? Basically, in the back of my mind I was thinking, “Is there hope?” For some like my mother, there was hope for treatment and a cure. For others, there was hope for more time. Unfortunately for some, there was hope that strides in research will be made to improve the odds for others who battle their type of cancer in the future.

After the emotions comes the questions. What stage is it? Can it be treated? Basically, in the back of my mind I was thinking, “Is there hope?” For some like my mother, there was hope for treatment and a cure. For others, there was hope for more time. Unfortunately for some, there was hope that strides in research will be made to improve the odds for others who battle their type of cancer in the future.

For those I love who are survivors, I still carry within me a trickle of fear that asks, “Will it come back?” For those I lost to cancer, I try to push aside the sorrow and anger and focus on memories.

• An uncle who dug up lilies from his garden to share with me.

• A kind man at church killing spiders I found in the hallway or bathroom.

• A thoughtful man inviting me to share our March birthdays by going out to lunch.

Relay for Life helps me hold on to hope and memories more than the fear and anger. Money raised supports cancer research, including research being conducted at Alabama universities; Hope Lodge that offers a place to stay during treatment; a tollfree American Cancer Society hotline available 24/7; and even transportation grants to Huntsville hospitals to help patients get to and from treatment.

I Relay because I do not want cancer to have the final say. I do not want cancer to take another loved one. That’s a sentiment shared by our City team. 

“I Relay for my dad! He was diagnosed with cancer in 1998 and has been through several extensive surgeries due to his cancer. He is cancer free now and he is a trooper!!! Even though he now has some issues to deal with from the cancer, he still approaches each day with a positive attitude and praises God for what he has done in his life. He is our HERO!!!!” - Cindy Pugh

“I Relay because I have always had a fear of cancer. It has affected so many family and friends. The one day I received the dreadful news that the C word had hit me. Now, being a part of Relay has a whole new meaning. I just wish and pray that one day there will be a cure, but until then, I will Relay.” - Kathy Cothren, breast cancer survivor

“I became a member of the City of Athens Relay for Life Team to help others in promoting cancer awareness and prevention. Many of us have either had cancer or have a family member who has. The battle is personal to me since I am an 11-year cancer survivor. Advancements in cancer treatment and prevention are certainly worth the efforts to fund research. I hope that cancer will be eradicated during my lifetime or during that of my children.” - Marcia Day, breast cancer survivor

“Why do I Relay? There are many reasons, and they all have names! I worked with eight women at our office (DHR) who were diagnosed with breast cancer. Three of them lost their lives as result of it. My grandmother was the first generation in our family to have breast cancer. My mother was the second generation to have breast cancer and died from uterine cancer, and I am the third generation to be diagnosed with breast cancer twice, once in 2005 and the second time in 2019. Both times my cancer was found as a result of a regularly scheduled mammogram. Ladies get your mammograms! I have other friends, one of which is on our Relay Team, to have breast cancer. Thankfully, she is doing great! We have lost several team members to cancer and other members who have lost spouses, children, sisters, brothers and husbands to some type of cancer. I worked with a girl that her young nephew died of cancer and a girl that her sister died of breast cancer. I have several dear friends who died of cancer, one of esophageal cancer, one of lung cancer and one of pancreatic cancer. I cannot begin to count the number of volunteers and community members who I worked with who were diagnosed with cancer. My sister has had a scare, and my brother has prostate cancer that thankfully is under control. So, when I am asked ‘Why do you Relay?’ I respond that I Relay for all these friends and family and others who may be diagnosed in the future. I Relay to spread the word about cancer, and I Relay to Fight, for Hope and for a Cure!” -

Jennifer C White, breast cancer survivor

“I Relay for my family and friends who have been touched by cancer, and I want to be a part of destroying it!!!!” - Kim Glaze

“I chose to be on the Athens Relay for Life Team because everyone on the team has been touched in some way or another by cancer. The projects we do for Athens and Limestone County help raise money for cancer research and awareness. I had a grandmother, mother and husband who all died from cancer. We are all working toward one goal, to defeat this terrible disease, and with your help and donations, I feel we can do this.” – Helen Greenhaw

Flyer for recycling cellphones and cola tabs for Relay for Life

Upcoming Fundraisers and Events

City of Athens Relay for Life Events and Fundraisers
  • Hope. Fight. Relay. purple garden flags, $10. Call 256-233-8730.
  • Relay for Life stained glass sun catchers in the shape of a purple ribbon, made by High Cotton Arts artist Denise Maurer, $10. Call 256-233-8730.
  • DELAYED DUE TO COVID-19: Will announce a new date later - Celebrity Waiters Night at Applebee's
  • Bass Fishing Tournament Spring - May 1, 2021, at Ingalls Harbor from safelight to 3 p.m. $100 for pre-registration and $110 cash day of event.

Catching a 'Spark' of kindness

Spark Academy at Cowart Elementary first graders who visited City Hall a few months ago asked how they can make a difference in their community. City of Athens Relay for Life Team Captain Holly Hollman told them the team collects cola tabs and along with Elkmont Church of Christ, sends them to Ronald McDonald House of Memphis. RMHM provides support for children and families who have a child undergoing treatment at St. Jude.

The first graders listened and acted! They collected 39 pounds of cola tabs by making marketing posters for their school. Their teachers also had them learn math. The students put the tabs in gallon bags and weighed them to count how many they collected.

The students presented the City of Athens Relay Team with their collection today, and they promised to keep up the good work. They know first hand the impact because one of the school's students currently goes to St. Jude for treatment and the family stays at Ronald McDonald House.

NOTE: The school delivered several more pounds of tabs at the start of the 2020-2021 school year. The tabs were collected prior to schools closing for COVID-19. We appreciate the students supporting our efforts!

City of Athens Relay for Life Logo