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Jonesborough getting own Relay For Life event

The American Cancer Society will make history in Jonesborough later this year as it hosts the town’s first-ever Relay For Life.
For decades, the Relay For Life event for Washington County has been held in Johnson City. Now, Jonesborough will get its very own event to fight cancer.
“Relay For Life is such a community-driven event and we just felt Jonesborough is such a special place and it was its own community outside of Johnson City,” said Anthony Piercy with the local ACS office. “We are really excited about it.”
The event, scheduled for Saturday, July 20, will be different than any other local Relay For Life. While the traditional Relay is an overnight event, the one in Tennessee’s oldest town will run from noon until midnight.
And instead of being centered around a track like other events, Jonesborough’s Relay For Life will take place right on Main Street in downtown.
“I would picture it more so as your typical downtown festival,” said Mary Jane Greene, co-chair of this year’s event. “It’s definitely something very different.”
The Relay For Life invites people to form teams and raise money to find a cure for cancer. It’s a fight that really hits home for Greene.
“Cancer has played an important role in my life. My grandmother had cancer and my mother. My sister is a 17-year survivor,” said Greene, who works at the Jonesborough-based company Aerojet. “We lost a very dear co-worker last year to cancer and have another co-worker going through some issues now.
“I want to do everything we can to fight this disease.”
The Town of Jonesborough is working with the American Cancer Society to hold the event downtown. Several area merchants and residents have already joined in the efforts, with the event committee planning to continue its outreach efforts to get plenty more people involved.
A kickoff rally was held at the AmericInn last month to introduce the event to interested community members.
Approximately 10 teams have already committed to take part and an estimated $4,000 had already been raised. The fundraising goal for the inaugural event is $30,000.
“I’m just really excited the American Cancer Society decided to bring the Relay to Jonesborough,” Greene said. “Having it here will be great.”
For more information on the Relay For Life in Jonesborough, call Greene at 753-1394 or visit