BY LISA WARREN
Final preparations are under way for the 2012 Greene County Relay for Life, an annual community event to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
This year's Relay for Life will be held Friday, June 15, beginning at 6 p.m., at the Greeneville Middle School Track.
A cancer survivor's lap is planned for 7 p.m.
In honor of Father's Day weekend, the relay organizers will be paying special tribute to fathers who are cancer survivors.
These individuals who were selected through a nomination process will lead the first lap of the Relay for Life as "Honorary Survivor Chairs."
All local cancer survivors are welcome to register to join in the "Survivor Lap" at the relay event. Registration is free.
To register, call Johanna Holz at 638-3299 or go online to http://www.relayforlife.org/greenetn.
As of Friday afternoon, there were 703 individuals and 30 teams who have signed up to participate in this year's Greene County Relay for Life, according to the event's website, http://www.relayforlife.org/greenetn.
Among those participating is a school team from Doak Elementary School, which is currently leading the fundraising effort among all of the local Relay for Life teams.
To date, Doak School has impressively raised more than $40,000 this year in its fundraising effort to benefit the American Cancer Sociey.
On May 4, the school held its own mini "Relay for Life," which has become an annual end-of-school event that is highly anticipated by the students and staff at Doak.
"Our theme this year was 'Be a Superhero, Save a Life,'" said Doak principal Jennifer Teague.
This year's theme idea was submitted by fifth grade student Rose Davis, Teague said.
This year's Doak Relay for Life was held in memory of Memphis Seaton, a Doak student who lost his battle with cancer on May 25, 2011.
Memphis would have been a fourth grade student at Doak this year.
"Each team came up with their own logo and decorated capes - but each logo had to have a heart somewhere in the logo that was placed there in memory of Memphis," Teague said.
The 4th grade team, named "Team Memphis," paid a special tribute to their beloved classmate by using the letter "M" for their logo.
A special white balloon release was also held by the fourth grade students in memory of Memphis.
"We had this planned for our opening ceremony, but light rain and the threat of it made us move things to the gymnasium," Teague said.
Memphis' parents, Robbie and Somer Seaton took part in the Doak Relay for Life event.
Second grade student Cora Burchett, who is a leukemia survivor, served as the grand marshal of the Relay.
"The Doak family raised over $40,000 for the American Cancer Society," Teague said.
One of the fundraising events this year was aided by local "superheroes" The Band Perry.
The country music sibling trio participated in an autograph session at the school, which raised around $1,200 for the cause.
In addition, an autographed guitar from the group raised an additional $1,200 through a silent auction, Teague said.
Another Doak family held a golf tournament in memory of Larry Schofield and presented a check for $7,000 at the Relay, the principal added.
"It was an amazing event," Teague said. "It was very emotional for everyone there - children included."
Each year, Doak School holds its own Relay for Life to honor the memory of one of its late educators Lisa White, who died of breast cancer.
"We are blessed to have had Lisa White show us how to Relay and how to always put others first," Teague said.