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Luminaria event to be held Feb. 24

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The West End Baptist Relay For Life team will hold its sixth annual Luminaria Service on Feb. 24 at the church at 6 p.m.

Team member Sunny Mays said the event began as a suggestion from a team member who was also a member of the Chilton County Relay for Life planning committee.

Mays said the support of cancer survivors and caregivers coming together is what is special to her about the event.

“I feel like everybody in this county has been touched by cancer in some way,” Mays said. “It is just a time for them to come be with people who know what they are going through and share their experience.”

Luminaria bags can be purchased for $2 each or 3 for $5.

“We sell those as a part of our fundraiser, and you can decorate the bag,” Mays said. “Or, if you don’t want to decorate the bag, we will have little stickers that say ‘in remembrance of’ and then you put the person’s name or ‘in honor of’ then put that person’s name.”

Electronic candles to place in the luminarias will be provided at the event.

Luminaria bags can be purchased the night of the event or in advance by contacting Mays at (205) 296-2945 or ribitfrog@att.net.

This year’s event will feature three speakers on the topics of celebrate, remember and fighting back.

The remembrance speaker will be GeneAnn Jimmerson, who has lost multiple family members to cancer.

Jennifer Teel will be the celebrate speaker, telling the cancer survivor story of her daughter Kinlee Teel.

The fighting back speaker will be Lori Peoples.

“During our service, our praise team will be singing,” Mays said. “Then, there will be a time when our pastor comes up and will read the luminaria service that ACS (American Cancer Society) has given us.”

The service includes having those remembering or honoring certain family members (mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, etc.) and friends to walk to the front and place their luminaria on the altar at specific times during the reading.

“Cancer has no preference,” the “Lighting of Luminaria” script states. “It takes young, old fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, best friends, old friends and dear friends.”

After all of the luminarias have been placed, there will be a prayer, and the church’s praise team will close out the event.

All of the luminarias from the event will also be displayed at the Chilton County Relay For Life event on May 3 from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Little League Football field behind the YMCA.

West End Baptist Church is located at 2005 Second Ave. N in Clanton.