Relay for Life comes to #DTJax this April

The American Cancer Society provides hope to those battling cancer and one of their most known events, Relay for Life, is coming to Downtown Jacksonville, April 28. We discussed all things Relay-related with Senior Community Manager, Cheyenne Overby and got the scoop on what you should know about the organization and this event.

All Photo Credit: American Cancer Society
All Photo Credit: American Cancer Society

Q: Can you tell us a little about the American Cancer Society and what the functions of the organization are?

The American Cancer Society is working relentlessly towards a world with more birthdays and less cancer. We are helping people stay well, helping people get well, finding cures and fighting back.

Q: And a little more specifically, what about Relay For Life?

As I mentioned, Relay For Life is the largest nonprofit fundraiser in the world. Since it began in 1985, it has raised more than $5 billion globally. Relay For Life is a family-friendly walk that raises awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society. Each event is organized by community volunteers and gives us the opportunity to celebrate all of our cancer Survivors, remember all of those we’ve lost and fight back against this disease. Different groups – churches, schools, businesses, family, friends, etc. – form teams and one person from each team walks around a track during the event to symbolize that the fight against cancer is continuous.

Q: Relay For Life is coming Downtown soon, how has planning and organizing been?

All Photo Credit: American Cancer Society
All Photo Credit: American Cancer Society

It has been so exciting! We are really looking forward to moving the Relay For Life of Metro Jacksonville to Hemming Park for the first time. We realized we haven’t done a very good job of giving our corporate community a place to Relay and we wanted to change that. The Leadership Team has been working very hard and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Unfortunately, we’ve all been affected by cancer in some way – whether personally, through our families or through someone we know. We’re excited to see the power of a community wanting to make a difference come together in the fight against cancer.

Q: What do you think Relay For Life does to help a community?

You know, we often talk about the power of one person. Relay For Life was started by one man – Dr. Gordy Klatt. When each one person decides to get involved with their local Relay For Life, one becomes two and two becomes 20. In 2014, Relay For Life had more than four million participants. Four million. But each of those four million started with just one.

Relay For Life brings all of these “ones” together. Relay For Life allows a community to take up the fight and gives everyone an opportunity to have a piece in it. I’ve had so many volunteers express how impactful it has been for them to have an outlet to actually do something to help. To be able to tell their friends and family that they are fighting back. It connects all of the “ones” to each other.

Q: What is your favorite part of the Relay For Life event?

All Photo Credit: American Cancer Society

Easiest question ever. The Luminaria Ceremony. This is a Ceremony where we bring down the lights and our Luminaria bags are lit in honor or in memory of loved ones. It really gives you the opportunity to reflect about WHY Relay For Life is so important and WHY we are even here, all together, fighting the same fight. It is so impactful and powerful and I look forward to it at every single event. It’ll send chills down your spine just thinking about it.


Q: How can people get involved, find out more information, volunteer or fundraise for the upcoming Relay For Life event?

There are a lot of ways to be involved – joining the Leadership Team, creating your own team (with friends, family, your company, church, school, etc.), joining a team, registering as a survivor and/or caregiver and joining in the festivities that go along with celebrating you, helping us bring more survivors and caregivers to our event, host a fundraiser and the list goes on and on! For anyone interested in more information, they can contact me directly at, check our website or look at our Facebook page.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I really want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to talk about Relay For Life and thank the corporate community for embracing Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society. The work we do is so important – it can save someone’s life. And, we couldn’t do it without our volunteers and without the passion, dedication and inspiration they bring to us. We hope to continue to grow and continue to spread our mission and serve our communities. Relay isn’t all we do, but all we do depends on Relay.

All Photo Credit: American Cancer Society

Thank you to Cheyenne and the whole team at the American Cancer Society. We are lucky and excited to have a Relay in #DTJax so go register your team today and we’ll see you April 28 in Hemming Park for Relay for Life!