Rains come late, but can’t dampen spirits of ‘Relay for Life’ event


It seems like rain is as much an annual part of the Switzerland County Relay for Life event as the opening ceremonies and auction; but the rains held off until late Friday night, and the event went off to great reviews.

After the Survivors Dinner that was held at the Switzerland County High School cafeteria, survivors and their families gathered at the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park, where Jennifer Johnson opened the festivities with an outstanding rendition of the National Anthem.

The first lap of the event was reserved for those who are either battling cancer or who have survived cancer, and as the group made its way around the park square, team members from the different relay teams lined the route and applauded the walkers. Caregivers and family members then joined in, and soon thereafter the square was filled with walkers, each recording laps in honor of loved ones.

This year’s teams include: Florence and Friends; Jefferson-Craig; Fishing Buddies; Kelly’s Kids; Cancer Fighting Christians; Kiwanis; Switzerland County Homemakers; Patriot Bucket Brigade; Mom and Pop team; Moorefield Fire Department; YMCA; Belterra Casino Resort and Spa; T.A.C.; Team Dorie; and Switzerland County Elementary School.

There was a wide variety of food available at the event, but many booths featured cupcakes in honor of the event’s “Birthday” theme. Homemade ice cream could be found; as well as burgers, hot dogs and drinks.’

There were also several games at team campsites to play; and other things were offered for sale, including tee-shirts at the “Team Dorie” booth. Team camps each had themes, ranging from Hawaiian to all things pink.

The annual auction, again coordinated by MainSource Bank employees, was a big success. Photo prints by Bud Acton, hanging baskets from Rosemary Bovard; and a wide range of other items were all up for bid; and spirited bidding meant lots more money for the American Cancer Society. Brian Covington bought an outdoor light featuring dogs.

As the park grew dark, the luminary ceremony featured nearly 600 lighted buckets surrounding the walking course; and the names of all of those who had luminaries purchased either “In Honor” or “In Memory” were read.

With all of the activities and events going on at the Relay for Life; the most enjoyable part for most people was the opportunity to visit with family and friends throughout the evening. Everyone had a wonderful time, and plans are already underway for the 2012 Relay for Life.

This year’s Relay for Life was led by co-chairpersons Debbie Allen and Valerie Smith; and although no official totals are available at this time, this year’s event looked to again be a big success.