Something to celebrate

Cancer survivors gather for special breakfast provided by the Holly Pond Civitan Club

(Amy Leonard for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The annual Relay for Life of Cullman County Survivors Breakfast was held Wednesday morning at Cullman Church of Christ.  The indestructible warriors of the Cullman area were invited and broke bread together, celebrating their victory over the insidious disease of cancer.

With eggs, biscuits, bacon, sausage and all the trimmings provided and prepared by the Holly Pond Civitan Club, the survivors, their families and caregivers were served from the buffet by students from the Holly Pond High School Key Club.

The Key Club’s sponsor and Holly Pond High School teacher Chelsie Alldredge spoke of the importance of the teenager’s participation in the event, saying, “We are very proud of our kids in the Holly Pond Key Club. The Key Club is all about serving others and caring is our motto. They wanted to get up early and to help out because these survivors have been through a lot. It’s really good for the kids to give back.”

Registration desk volunteer Mitzi Smallwood noted the event was a sight for sore eyes after the breakfast was put on hold over the last two years due to COVID.

“We lost track of so many people and lost so many over those years. We worry about them and hope we will see them today to see how they’re doing. I’m glad we’re back so we can celebrate.”

Organizer Jan Pierce expounded on the sentiment, “The survivors are what Relay for Life is all about. That’s what we’re working for—to have survivors and not statistics—and that’s why it’s so important to celebrate our survivors.”

Along with her partner in crime, fellow organizer Linda Walker, Pierce has been an integral part of Cullman’s Relay for Life committee since its inception.

“Linda Walker is a survivor herself and we’ve worked together with survivors since the very beginning. That’s over 20 years now. That’s where my heart is. They have something big to celebrate and to be so happy about. They’re here and they’ve beaten this evil, evil thing. That’s why we celebrate,” Pierce continued.

The celebration will continue on Saturday with the Party in the Park beginning at 3:00 p.m. and ending at 10:00 p.m. at the city’s Depot Park. The opening ceremony will be hosted by newscaster Rick Karle. Events and activities will include music, food trucks, cornhole, the Kids’ Korner and inspiring Survivors Lap.

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