GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – For more than 36 years, communities across the world come together to raise awareness and money to help fight cancer.

Pitt County held its Relay For Life event on Saturday, not only raising money to help fight cancer but for the American Cancer Society’s McConnell-Raab Hope Lodge.

“We’re excited to showcase this beautiful facility and to come together and celebrate advances in the fight against cancer,” said Melanie McCullough, director of marketing for the American Cancer Society.

Cancer survivors walked a lap around the lodge celebrating overcoming their battle. Caregivers to those still battling cancer also took a lap, some holding each other’s hands.

The McConnell-Raab Hope Lodge gives cancer patients and caregivers a place to stay who live at least 40 miles away.

“Guests often referred to it as a home away from home,” said Susan Sugg, assistant manager at McConnell-Raab Hope Lodge. “So these people come in not knowing each other, but they all have something in common. They’re all battling this ugly, ugly disease, and not only do our other families kind of embrace these new people coming in, but our staff have the opportunity to not only open our home, but our hearts.”

Relay For Life attendee Bonnie Robtoy is a cancer survivor as well as a caregiver who has cancer. Robtoy said with her husband having treatments every day, the Hope Lodge makes the hard times easier.

“I’m a cancer survivor also five years cancer free. And it’s just amazing to show support for all those that are fighting the battle,” said Robtoy.

Families and the community spent the night together to support survivors and remember those who are no longer here.

“Relay For Life is really a special … it’s a movement, it’s the community so people know they’re not alone as they go through cancer,” said McCullough.

Relay For Life is a good time to raise awareness for people battling cancer, but they need help beyond just the event. The Hope Lodge facility also welcomes volunteers to help guests.