Relay for Life prepare for run on Friday

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 1, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

A long awaited and fun-filled event, Relay for Life will wrap up its fundraising activities on Friday, May 5 with the grand finale walk/run.

The overnight event will take place at Memorial Stadium, located on Dallas Avenue in Selma from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

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Dallas County’s Relay for Life Chair Sherri James said there will be a cancer survivors reception at the stadium from 5 to 6 p.m., right before the walk/run begins. A luminary ceremony will take place at 9 p.m. with the lighting of the candles in honor of cancer survivors and in memory of those who’ve passed on.

According to the Dallas County Relay for Life web site, Relay for Life is designed to celebrate survivors of the disease and raise money to help the American Cancer Society save lives, help those who’ve been touched by cancer and to empower people to fight back against the disease.

Relay for Life is a worldwide event, with people gathering in various places each year to walk or run laps in remembrance and in celebration of those who are or have been affected by cancer.

James, who’s been a part of Relay for Life for eight years, said that Dallas County took on the goal of trying to raise $92,000 for the American Cancer Society. The fundraiser so far has consisted of 25 teams.

The teams are usually made up of members of businesses and churches, but James said the pull this year has mainly been for more family teams.

“We started pulling teams together in December last year and getting the team captains figured out,” James said.

“We normally

have anywhere from 28 to 35 teams a year and those consist of 10 to 15 people per team.”

Participants in the Relay for Life event are encouraged to turn in their hard-gathered funds on Wednesday, May 3 during Bank Night, which will begin at 5 p.m.

However, members can still turn their money in on Relay night. Each team was expected to raise at least $100 and will be awarded with a T-shirt if they reach that amount.

On relay night, the teams will compete for best themed campsite and the winner will receive a team trophy. The theme for this year’s Relay for Life, “Oh, the places we will go…” is a quote from well-known children’s author Dr. Seuss, but James said the teams will be allowed to choose any theme they desire for their campsite.

Team cooking competitions will also be among the list of activities to take place on relay night.

“Spirits are usually good on this night and we’ve had some really nice decorations for the campsites in the past,” James said. “The public is invited to come out and enjoy the fun also.”

Teams will be judged on Friday and trophies will be given for best team spirit, best food and best decorated, as well as for the team that raises the most money.

Other activities that will take place to keep participants and the public entertained will be a tug-of-war competition between the City of Selma Fire Department and the Police Department, a cake auction and a mock “American Idol” competition, called Relay Idol. Activities for children will also be available such as face painting and competitions in hula hoop and jump rope.

The relay will begin at 6 p.m. and teams must have a member on the track at all times. The participants may walk or run the relay and can trade out their time with other team members waiting on the sidelines.

“The funds for this will be used for research and education,” James said. “This is just a family fun event but an event with a purpose.”

Anyone wishing to donate money or join a Dallas County Relay for Life team can check out the official Web site at