About five hundred people are expected to take part in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Light the Night Walk Saturday night around the Lunsford Trail. The walk is a national event held in different locations across the country that benefits the LLS’ efforts to cure leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma by raising money and awareness.
This will be the first Light the Night Walk in Abilene in seven years. Alana Jeter, campaign director for the Abilene walk, said the event is a chance to honor the survivors of any type of cancer and remember those that have passed away.
“We’ve been well received by the community,” said Jeter. “People are very pleased to have something here that’s tangible that they can show support for.”
Once registered, participants receive a personal fundraising Web page that they can use to keep track of the money they collect for their walk. Because the walk is incentive-based, different prizes are given for funds raised, ranging from a T-shirt to a flat-panel HDTV.
“Most people don’t do it for the T-shirt, but it helps people to set a goal,” Jeter said. “We encourage people to set their goal higher.”
Many walkers decide to walk in honor of a specific cancer patient. Peggy Hurst, executive secretary to the ACU provost, signed up to walk with a team honoring the memory of a past coworker’s granddaughter.
“I’m grateful to be able to show my love and support to her family, and to make a difference in another child’s life,” said Hurst.
Hurst will be walking with a team composed of fellow ACU staff members Julie Hughes and Carolyn Jeter.
Megan Favor, senior English major from Lufkin, is taking part in Light the Night in honor of the sister of one of her summer campers. About 40 others from Highland Church of Christ who are walking to support the family will join her. Together, they will make up Team Tatum.
“I hope that it can give them hope and joy,” said Favor.
Check-in for the walk will begin at 6 p.m. and include free food from Olive Garden, bounce houses and music. A short program about the LLS and the efforts of Light the Night will follow at 7:45 p.m., and the walk will begin at 8 p.m.Â Participants will carry lighted red balloons if they are supporters; white, if they are survivors or gold in remembrance of passed loved ones as they make their way around the trail.
Anyone can register for the walk online at www.lightthenight.org/ntx or at the registration tent at 6 p.m. Saturday.