June 17, 2004

Relay For Life Hitting The Streets June 18-19

To win a relay, the runners must rely on their teammates. But unlike most track events, where relay teams feature just four runners, Friday night’s Relay for Life in Memphis will feature many more teammates joining together to help fight Cancer.

The Fourth Annual Scotland County Relay For Life will be held on the Memphis City Square June 18-19. The fundraiser for the American Cancer Society will open in traditional form, with a lap dedicated to all survivors of the dreaded disease. Albert and Rex Winn will be carrying the banner at the head of the initial circuit when the survivors join together to make the first lap of the evening. Two other cancer survivors, Margaret Watson and Shelley Curry will be lighting the candles as the Hope poem is read.

“Remember that we relay for the celebration of life of those who survive this dreaded disease,” said event chairperson Diane Tague.

The opening ceremony is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. The V.F.W. Color Guard will be on hand as Shelle Cooley sings the national anthem. Following the survivor’s lap there will be a lap dedicated to caregivers followed by the team lap where the individual squads are announced.

Throughout the evening at least one member of each team will be completing a lap around the square. The walkers will be making circuits around the square non-stop until 6:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

There will be plenty to do besides walking. Teams will be selling various kinds of food and will also have games available for spectators to participate in. All of these events help raise additional money for the cause. The Scotland County Rotary Club will be serving barbecue pork sandwiches.

During the evening a special luminary lighting will be held at 9:00 p.m.. Candles will line the square. Once lit, the memorials to cancer victims and salutes to survivors will generate a solemn reminder of how many area residents are effected by the disease. The spectators can take some solace knowing each candle has helped the cause, raising funding for the project.

“Individuals are encouraged to light their own candles if they wish, but we want to remind them to bring their own lighter,” Tague stated.

A lip-sync contest will be held following the lighting ceremony with members of each team competing. The 4-H Canine Capers and Miss Clark County Jessie Cotton will be providing other entertainment during the evening as well as some additional mystery entertainment.

“Everyone is invited to bring lawn chairs and enjoy all the activities that will be happening,” Tague said. “We want all to come to the closing ceremony on Saturday morning to rejoice in this year’s relay and the beginning of next year’s.”

The event organizers hope the Relay for Life continues its impressive growth. In 2001, the initial year for the local relay, $15,000 was raised. The event raised nearly $24,000 in 2002 before garnering more than $30,000 last year.

A special reception will be held for cancer survivors prior to the start of the relay at 5:30 p.m. at Java Jitters. Cake and refreshments will be served and all survivors will be given a free Relay for Life t-shirt to be worn during the opening ceremonies.

The closing ceremony will be held at 6:30 a.m. Saturday morning with a special release of balloons.

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