Terry Tucker

This year, the Multi-County Cancer Support Network, Inc. celebrated its 28th annual Walk-A-Thon on Sept. 10.

The Walk-A-Thon has changed somewhat over the years. When it began, teams would walk for 24 hours with a team member on the track at all times. I remember each team was assigned a number like those given to runners in marathons, and someone from each team had to wear that number while on the track.

Team members would take turns walking the track while others would rest until it was their turn. There were even those who would camp and some would bring their campers and park outside the field.

It is safe to say that the Walk-A-Thon has changed over the years.

Now it lasts for about four hours and there is no longer a requirement for someone from each team to be on the track at all times. However, there are some things that have not changed.

We still honor those who are fighting this dreaded disease called cancer and still remember those who lost the battle.

The survivors still make that first lap around the track while “Amazing Grace” is sung, this year by Mr. Chris Staples.

The survivors are honored during the beginning lap of the Walk-A-Thon while those who have left us are honored during the candlelight ceremony.

It is a solemn time when the lights are turned off and the luminaries twinkle. The flames glow to honor those who have lost their battle with cancer and those who are still with us fighting the battle.

The names of each individual are read while a single bell is rung.

The crowd was a little thin this year, but the MCCSN had many supporters even though they were not in attendance. Those who were there enjoyed some great entertainment.

Mr. Joseph Horton offered a beautiful prayer while Ms. Lauren Rogers sang a beautiful rendition of the national anthem.

Mr. Josh Ogle returned as our MC and provided entertainment along with others such as The Sims Family, Strangers with Friends and Mr. Austin Burgin.

Brother Tony Etheridge from Elk River Baptist Church provided an inspirational testimony and devotion.

Mrs. Debbie Turner provided encouragement through her songs and testimony.

There is one thing that has not changed since MCCSN, Inc. began 28 years ago and that is the organization’s mission to provide assistance to cancer patients and their families in eight counties: Franklin, Coffee, Bedford, Grundy, Lincoln, Marion, Moore and Warren.

Without your help, MCCSN would not be able to continue this support.

MCCSN says THANKS to everyone who attended this year’s Walk-A-Thon and to every individual, business, and sponsor!

We say THANKS to the many volunteers, those who donated items and services, manned booths, filled and lit luminaries, and helped with set up and clean up.

It takes many hours of planning and hard work behind the scenes to make this event a success and MCCSN, Inc. could not do it without YOU. Thank you from MCCSN, Inc.

This year’s sponsors as of Sept. 19 are: Arabian Horse sponsors ($500 or more): Concert Production, Harmony Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Jack Daniel Distillery, Premier Women’s Health Center, Southern Tennessee Regional Health System, Tennessee Oncology, Walnut Grove United Methodist Church and Wright’s Renovations LLC.

Angus Prize Cow sponsors ($300): Batesville Casket Company, Coach Larry Conceive Believe Achieve Scholarship Foundation, Estill Springs United Methodist Church, Henley Supply Millwork, Master of Ceremonies and Elaine Stumpf.

Cashmere Goat sponsors ($200): Coffee County Funeral Chapel, Compassus Hospice & Palliative Care, Highland Hills Church of Christ, Manchester Funeral Home, Riva Lake Baptist Church, Tullahoma Funeral Home and Tullahoma Vision Associates P.C.

Terry Tucker is the president of the Multi-County Cancer Support Network.