The annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life will be held Friday night, Aug. 5, in Forest Park.
The overnight event celebrates cancer survivors, remembers those who lost their battle with cancer, and raises funds to fight the disease and help those affected by its effects. The carnival-like atmosphere invites area residents to support teams during the event.
“Shelby County has done really well so far this year,” said Lesa Brandt, ACS representative. “We are ahead of last year at this time in fundraising.”
Shelby County’s goal is $57,500 with nearly $21,000 already raised. Twenty teams from throughout the county have been working throughout the past year to break the goal for the third year in a row. Over $68,000 was raised in 2009 and over $67,000 was raised in 2010.
The Shelby Memorial Hospital team has already raised over $10,000 for this year’s event - setting the challenge for other teams in their fundraising goals.
The event in Forest Park is open to all visitors. Luminaria may be purchased in remembrance of those who have lost their battle with cancer or those who are battling the disease now.
“A lot of people don’t realize that luminaria may be purchased at the event,” said luminaria chairman Gayla Jones. “They may be purchased ahead of time, but they can be purchased at the Relay.”
Those remembered on the luminaria will also be honored in a special ceremony at 9 p.m.
A dinner for cancer survivors will be held at 5 p.m. in the Senior Citizens Building as teams will set up campsites along the Relay track.
Opening ceremonies will begin at 6 p.m. with the Survivors lap and a guest survivor speaker.
Among the activities for the evening are a silent basket auction, kids’ basket raffle, children’s activities, and a number of fundraising activities and food at the various campsites.
Music throughout the evening will be provided by Kerry Campbell and All Kindz of Sounds DJ Service, Keyless Entry Barbershop Quartet, and Mark Montgomery on guitar. Dance Inc. from Stewardson will also perform.
Other activities include a midnight swim at the pool from 10 p.m. to midnight, Minute to Win It games at 11:30 p.m., Miss Relay Contest at midnight, and Relay’s Got Talent at 12:30 a.m.
Also throughout the night will be themed laps by different teams.
The closing ceremony will be held at 5:15 a.m. with team totals announced, awards and closing remarks. Free 2012 registration will be awarded to the team with the most members present at 5:15 a.m.
Although teams will work throughout the 12 hour event, the community is invited to come out and encourage them and see what Relay is all about.
More information about the Shelby County Relay for Life may be found at www.relayforlifeshelby.com or from any committee member.