The Smyrna-Clayton communities are less than two weeks away from the third annual Smyrna-Clayton Relay For Life fundraiser on Friday, May 16 at Smyrna High School. To raise awareness for the event, Relay For Life is doing a town-wide “sub-event” the week prior where members will “Paint the Town Purple.”

Smyrna-Clayton Relay For Life Co-chair Anne Thomas said starting Friday, May 9 Relay For Life will put purple ribbons on utility poles in town to bring awareness to Relay For Life.

“We want to encourage more people to join the fight and to sign up for Relay,” Thomas said.

The 2014 fundraiser is coming off a year in which the Smyrna-Clayton Relay For Life raised $70,000 after initially setting a goal of $33,000. In both the first two years – 2012 and 2013 – of the fundraiser, the monetary goal has been exceeded.

Thomas said this year the goal is to have 40 teams, 400 people and to raise $80,000. Thus far, 32 teams and 235 participants have been registered. Only $15,000 has been raised thus far, but the group can raise money through the end of August.

“It’s been a slow start mainly because of the harsh winter. We wanted to remind everyone we are doing the fundraiser again this year,” Thomas said.

Thomas said the town has given Relay For Life permission to put purple ribbons up throughout town. Thomas said the group also encourages local businesses to decorate with purple ribbon. Sayers Jewelry will decorate their window in purple, Thomas said. Moreover, Pat’s Pizza will have a fundraiser for Relay For Life on Wednesday, May 14; Jake’s Hamburgers will have a fundraiser on Thursday, May 15.

The Smyrna/Clayton Relay For Life will start at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 16 and go through 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 17. Relay For Life is an all-night fundraiser that raises money for the American Cancer Society. The event will feature various activities and goodies for sale, with money going to Relay For Life. Teams must have someone walking around the track at all times.

With a theme of “Time for a Cure” the fundraiser will feature decade-themed laps this year.

Thomas said Relay For Life is looking for more cancer survivors to come out and walk in the survivor lap, which kick starts the event after the opening ceremony. Survivors and caretakers are also invited to come to the survivor’s reception. ACS CAN members (American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network) are also encouraged to attend the fundraiser.

“Every day, people hear about someone else who has been diagnosed with cancer but we never have a way to reach out and help,” Thomas said. “This is a true way to fight back by joining Relay For Life and raise money to support survivors and fighters. We’re aiding in the research to cure this deadly disease once and for all.”