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Chair and Co-chair Resign from County’s Relay for Life, Reflect on Years Past

Sanford (L) and Louallen (R)

LiLeahe Louallen and Sarah Sanford, Cheatham County Relay for Life’s chair and co-chair respectively, will officially be stepping down on January 1, 2018, citing lack of community support and volunteers.

“After many discussions, thoughts, and prayers, Sarah and I are officially resigning our positions with Cheatham County Relay for Life,” Louallen stated. “For too many years, it has been too small of a group carrying so much of the load.”

“We are tired. Our families are tired,” she added.

In yesterday’s social media post used to announce their resignation, Louallen and Sanford thanked those who have helped over the years. “We could not have made it this far without you,” it read.

As they prepare to say their goodbyes, the dedicated pair is finding comfort in knowing what a difference they have made in the lives of so many, and will take with them countless treasured memories.

“Seeing the joy and the tears of participants and survivors both during the survivor lap and the Luminaria Ceremony has made my heart happy,’” says Sanford, who says some of their biggest accomplishments were planning a Relay event in only three months and being able to make one happen after the devastating floods of 2010.

For Louallen, the greatest rewards came from seeing the faces of survivors and their caregivers. “Many times people do not think to honor their caregivers- those who stand by them through all the good and bad days,” she says. “Seeing them together when we recognize and honor them was always a joyful moment.”

Having had the ability to raise money for The American Cancer Society, a cause both Louallen and Sanford respect and praise, was also a rewarding aspect of their roles within Cheatham’s Relay. “Oftentimes cancer patients still want some sort of normalcy- even when their lives are turned upside down. The American Cancer Society offers so many things to help make that possible,” says Louallen.

The duos final event will be their ‘Shop with Purpose’ multi-vendor shopping experience scheduled for Saturday, December 9 at the Bethlehem Community Center in Ashland City from 10 AM to 4 PM.

Cheatham County Relay for Life began in May of 2002. Sanford “picked up the reigns” in February of 2009 when she found herself to be the only one left on the committee. Louallen joined her in 2011 and took over as chair in 2013.

Anyone interested in helping keep Cheatham’s Relay for Life going is encouraged to contact Leslie Thrasher with the American Cancer Society at 615-341-7308 or

Louallen (L) longtime committee member Leslie Boak, and Sanford (R)

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