Relay for Life events around the country and in Ellis County seek to honor family members, friends, caregivers, those have lost their fight with cancer and provide strength to people who are undergoing treatment. The Relay for Life of Central Ellis County kicked off its 2014 season on Thursday night.

“Everyone has been affected by cancer. So it does not matter if it was your best friend or your mom. It does not matter if you are a survivor, a caregiver or just a person. Everyone is drawn for the cure for cancer,” Co-Chair Relay for Life of Central Ellis County Jessica Gentry said. “Tonight is actually the official kickoff for our Relay for Life. It is manly for team captains to get them informed. We got a good turn our so far.”

Relay for Life is community walk to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. The funds that are raised by teams of people go to help fund research into finding a cure for cancer.

The biggest change to Relay for Life this year that event will take place during the day. The event is scheduled to take place from Noon-Midnight Saturday, May 31.

Previously the event started late in the evening and when through till the next morning where teams camped over night at the event site.

A site to host the event has not been selected this year but site are been looked at around downtown Waxahachie. Last year the event was held around the Ellis County Historic Courthouse.

Several of the activities that will take place that night include a cancer survivor’s dinner, a walk to honor cancer survivors and luminary bags will be lit to honor loved ones who have passed away from cancer. As the event progress there will be team members that will be continually walking the designated loop to honor friends and family members fight against the disease.

Attending Thursday’s kickoff event was long time Relay for Life participant Deede Morris. Morris and her friend Denise Owens have been taking part in relay events for the past 11 years.

“We are just really involved in relay. We really believe it. My mother is now going through cancer treatment as we speak so it has new meaning. It was always important but now it is more so,” Morris said. “If you have lost someone from cancer there is a lot of support from the other participants of relay. It is very moving event.”

Morris said knowing that you are going to have impact on someone life makes all the work leading up to the event worth it.

Owens shared the same feelings as Morris the importance of relay. She said that while there have been some trying times she would not trade the experience.

The theme of this year’s event is “Every Day Heroes, which seeks to honor firefighters, police officers, paramedics, EMT’s and members of the military. People who where not able to attend the Relay for Life of Central Ellis County Kickoff that can still register a team by going to the event’s website at When on the website search for Central Ellis County. Additional information about relay can be found on Relay for Life of Central Ellis County Facebook page.