For at least one Williamsport Area High School teacher, this year's Relay For Life event will take on a more powerful meaning having recently proclaimed that he is now a cancer survivor.
Kevin Choate, also the district's head football coach, not only will be honored this year by the American Cancer Society but also will serve as the keynote speaker at this year's opening ceremony on May 17 at Millionaire Stadium.
"I'm honored. I've seen a lot the past seven or eight months and have been around a lot of survivors and those with cancer," Choate said. "I'm honored that I was chosen."
Shown is Kevin Choate, who will be the keynote speaker at the Relay For Life of Williamsport opening ceremony May 17.
Having faced an uncertain, frightening year at the start of the 2012-13 school term when he was diagnosed with cancer, Choate proudly announced he is cancer-free as of April 2, and now sits among the many survivors who surrounded him throughout his battle.
"I'm a survivor. I'm cancer-free. There's none," the teacher proudly said.
As the event kicks off on May 17, just about one week shy of his final cancer treatment, Choate will walk the ceremonial Survivor Lap, joined by Lycoming Valley Middle School teacher Michael Lundy, another recent cancer survivor.
"This is a great way to honor Kevin and all the other survivors, those with cancer and those who lost their battle with the disease," Lundy said. "Last year was my first year to walk and it was the most amazing, humbling and powerful event. I'm looking forward to it this year."
The two teachers formed The First United Millionaires team for this year's event, partnering with the First United Methodist Church to help drive up support.
Other district teams participating in this year's Relay event are Stevens Spirit Relay for Life Team, Cochran Cruisers and the First Millionaires' Team at Curtin Middle School.