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Mercer to Host College-Oriented Relay for Life Event in Macon, April 9-10

March 24, 2010

Media Contact:
Mark Vanderhoek
(478) 301-4037

MACON – For the first time Mercer University will host an American Cancer Society Relay for Life event. The event, MACRelay, is organized for teams from the area’s colleges and will be held April 9-10 at Porter Patch on Mercer’s Macon campus. Opening ceremonies begin at 7 p.m., April 9, and the survivor reception and survivor/caregiver celebration lap will begin at 7:30 p.m. The event concludes at 7 a.m. on April 10.

The relay is open to teams from Mercer University, Wesleyan College and Macon State College. Following the survivor celebration lap, the American Cancer Society will hold a tribute lap to Dr. Horace W. Fleming Jr., longtime Mercer University administrator. Fleming, who died last April after a battle with cancer, is a former Mercer provost and Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership. He was also a previous president of the Bibb County board of directors for the American Cancer Society and imagined the relay during his term. Unfortunately, he was too sick to participate in last year’s inaugural MACRelay event at Wesleyan College.

The University is also sponsoring a team, Team Fleming, in honor of Dr. Fleming.

“It is so fitting that the American Cancer Society has set aside time to recognize Horace Fleming’s dedication to the fight against cancer - especially during Mercer’s inaugural Relay for Life,” said Dr. Douglas Pearson, vice president and dean of students.  “Horace was just a tremendous individual and a leader in this academic community, and I am sure he would be pleased that he is being remembered for his contributions to this organization during an event on our campus.”

Relay for Life, the signature activity of the American Cancer Society, is held on 470 college campuses in the nation.  The overnight team event is a unique, fun way to raise money for the American Cancer Society while celebrating cancer survivors, and increasing cancer awareness on college campuses.

Teams are formed through student organizations, Greek organizations, faculty and alumni groups. Team members take turns walking the track throughout the night and into the morning.  Any survivor who would like to join the survivor lap can come to the event and register or can pre-register at

“Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event, because cancer never sleeps and for one night, neither will we,” said Glenda Davis, senior community manager for Bibb County board of directors for the American Cancer Society.

In addition, each team member pays a registration fee of $10 and agrees to raise a minimum of $100 to fund the American Cancer Society’s programs of research, early detection and prevention, and patient services and programs. 

The teams are assigned a campsite and the members participate in a variety of activities while waiting their turn to walk the track.  These activities include: two live bands that will play until midnight, scavenger hunts, tug of war, a newspaper evening gown beauty pageant, and Red Bull and root beer pong contests.  Awards are given for the best decorated campsite and the most spirited team.

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,000 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit
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