Get ready to have a big time this weekend. Relay for Life 2013 will take place Friday night at Nunley Stadium beside Warren County Middle School beginning at 5 p.m. This year’s Relay theme is “Dream Big, Hope Big, Relay Big.”
Approximately 40 teams have committed to try and raise money to help find a cure for cancer, according to organizer Sharon Walker.
“We have about the same amount of teams as last year. They are organized and look great, ” said Walker. “They will have booths set up Friday night decorated to reflect our theme. We asked them to decorate their booths with whatever ‘big’ means to them.”
Walker said a specific monetary goal has not been set. “This county does fantastic every year. We just want to find a cure for all cancers,” she said.
Food booths and activities for all ages will begin rain or shine at 5 p.m. and will last until midnight. Walker said everyone should come and enjoy dinner.
“The popular fried fish dinners will be back this year. Also available will be booths set up selling beans and cornbread, BBQ, hamburgers and hotdogs, stuffed potatoes and Hawaiian chicken kabobs. There will also be a cake walk featuring homemade goodies,” Walker said.
Bran Merritt and his band, Sleep Nation, will entertain the crowd beginning at 5:30 p.m. Sleep Nation is a four-member band which plays alternative rock music. Merritt’s mother, Sabrina, lost her battle with cancer in 1999.
“I feel connected to Relay for Life because my mom passed away from breast cancer when I was 12. I want to give back to those in similar situations,” said Merritt.
Opening ceremonies will once again feature cancer survivors taking a lap around the track beginning at 7 p.m. All cancer survivors are asked to join the walk. The cancer survivors’ lap around the track is a poignant reminder of how many people in our area, young and old, are presently fighting the disease.
Walker said, “Back by popular demand will be a live auction beginning at 8 p.m. We have items such as a homemade quilt, furniture, signed memorabilia from the Atlanta Braves, furniture and themed baskets to auction off.”
Luminarias will be lit at 10 p.m. The luminaria may either be in memory of a loved one who lost the battle with cancer or in honor of someone presently going to war against the disease. The lighting ceremony is a solemn part of the evening as last year 439 names of loved ones written on the luminarias were read.
Walker said, “Luminarias can be purchased up until the lighting ceremony starts. They will have the name of their loved one who has battled cancer on it.”
“Something new this year will be a large wrestling ring set up with local professional wrestlers putting on wrestling demonstrations. There is going to be so much going on over there this year,” said Walker.
Walker said a Big and Beautiful Pageant will be held following opening ceremonies. One member from each team will dress up as what they consider big and beautiful and will walk around the track and football field from 7:30 to 9 p.m. asking for donations.
“The person with the most donations will be declared the winner. There will be people impersonating ‘Duck Dynasty’ characters, Uncle Si and Jase. They are spot on too,” said Walker.
Relay for Life teams have been raising money for this year’s event since the day after Relay 2012. Many have held car washes and dinners, sold T-shirts, given haircuts for donations, and held a “Dancing with Our Stars” contest, among other things. Over $81,000 was raised in Warren County 2012 for the fight against cancer.