By CHRIS MENEES
They’ll be corralling cancer Friday night in Fulton.
The annual Relay For Life of Fulton, South Fulton and Hickman, Ky., will kick off at 6 p.m. Friday and continue into the wee hours of Saturday at Fulton’s downtown Pontotoc Park.
The event to benefit the American Cancer Society and its programs has been held in Fulton County, Ky., for about 15 years now and chairman Lynnita Pierce is looking forward to another successful Relay this weekend.
A western theme will be featured at this year’s 12-hour event.
“We’re going to round up the cure for cancer,” said Ms. Pierce, a seven-year survivor of Stage 3 melanoma.
Relay For Life began in 1985 when a doctor ran around a track in Tacoma, Wash., for 24 hours to raise money for the American Cancer Society. It has since become the world’s largest non-profit fundraising event and more than $3 billion has been raised in the fight against cancer since its inception.
Ms. Pierce said 16 teams are set to participate in Friday night’s event in Fulton and the community is encouraged to come out to support their fundraising efforts. The festivities will conclude at 6 a.m. Saturday.
Each of the participating teams will keep a walker on the Pontotoc Park track throughout the night and a variety of special activities will be staged every hour. be selling food and other items or staging games as they work toward a goal of raising $50,000.
The festivities will actually get under way early for cancer survivors, who will be treated to a dinner at 5 p.m. Friday at the Pontotoc Community Center.
Relay For Life will officially get under way at 6 p.m. with prayer and the national anthem, followed by survivor recognition and a survivor lap with family and friends at 6:15. The parade of teams is set for 6:45.
Friday evening’s other activities will include an auction at 7, followed by a program featuring dancers from Broadway Dance at 8, a luminary ceremony at 9, a scavenger hunt at 10, horseshoes at 10:30 and the “Dude Looks Like a Lady” contest at 11.
A western wear relay will be held at midnight, with participants specifically asked to bring blue jeans, flannel shirts, socks, cowboy hats and bandannas to the stage at Pontotoc Park as they enjoy the fun.
Heading into the home stretch early Saturday, the fun will include lasso and stick horse races at 1 a.m. Those games will be followed by bucket brigade at 2, jamming with a band at 3, baby food roulette and an ice cream-eating contest at 4, a PG-rated wet T-shirt contest at 4:30, and a noodle race and bubble gum-blowing contest at 5.
The closing ceremony will be held at 5:45 a.m. Saturday at the park, with cleanup to get under way at 6.
In the event of rain, Relay For Life event will be moved to South Fulton Baptist Church’s gymnasium, but Ms. Pierce said the forecast for Friday night looks good so far.
“We just want everyone to come on out and enjoy Relay For Life,” she said, noting the American Cancer Society is also celebrating its 100th anniversary.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 6.6.13