Switzerland County ‘Relay for Life’ is set for tomorrow and Saturday at high school

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The annual Switzerland County “Relay for Life” event to raise money for cancer research will be held beginning tomorrow (Friday) evening at the track at Switzerland County High School. The event will run through the night, and will end at noon on Saturday.

Roy Duckworth is the chairman of this year’s event, and he and his team of volunteers have been working since the conclusion of last year’s event to see that the 2007 “Relay” is successful.

“It’s about being a community that takes up the fight against cancer,” Roy Duckworth said. “The Relay give the community an opportunity to celebrate with cancer survivors and to honor those individuals whose fight is now over.”

The event gets started tomorrow (Friday) when cancer survivors are honored at a Survivors Dinner that will be held in the high school cafeteria beginning at 5:30 p.m. Organizers have been working on inviting cancer survivors to the dinner, but if you are a cancer survivor and have not bee contacted, contact Maxine Meisberger at 427-2315 or Ruth Lohide at 534-3002.

The opening ceremonies will be held at the track beginning at 6:30 p.m., and following those, the ceremonial first lap will be walked by cancer survivors. They will then be joined on the second lap by their caregivers and family members. The Survivor lap is scheduled to begin at 6:45 p.m.

At that point members of the 18 teams that are signed up to participate in the “Relay for Life” will begin the process of walking laps around the track. Team members will continue walking throughout the night until the event concludes on Saturday afternoon.

At 7 p.m., one of the most popular events at the “Relay for Life” will be held when the annual auction kicks off. All types of items have been donated, with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. In the past the auction has involved spirited bidding on many items, and everyone has a great deal of fun while raising money for the event. The auction is scheduled to continue until 8:30 p.m.

At 8:30 p.m., local talent will have the chance to take the stage and show their skills. Everyone is invited to come and participate, with sign up taking place during the event. The talent show will continue through 10 p.m.

Beginning at 10 p.m., the Switzerland County “Relay for Life” will hold its luminary service. Each year hundreds of residents purchase luminaries in honor of those battling cancer, in celebration of those who have defeated cancer, and in memory of those who are no longer continuing the fight.

Luminary forms are still available for those wanting to make a purchase, and completed luminaries can be give to a “Relay for Life” team member; can be dropped off at the Vevay Newspapers office before noon tomorrow (Friday); or can be taken to the “Relay for Life” and given to the attendants at the luminary table. Luminaries may also be purchased that evening prior to the beginning of the ceremony.

For each luminary purchased, a candle will be placed with the luminary attached to it around the track. After being illuminated, readers will share the names of those people being honored with the crowd. It is one of the most moving moments of the event, and everyone is invited to come and share in it.

Following the luminary service, the fun gets started around the track for the teams, as each 30-minutes brings a new “theme lap” with team members sharing in those laps.

At 11:30 p.m. is the “Stick Horse” lap; at midnight is the “Pajama” lap; at 1 a.m. is the “Patriotic” lap; at 1:30 a.m. is the “Hat and Sunglasses” lap; at 2 a.m. is the “Hula Hoop” lap; at 3 a.m. is the “Backwards” lap; at 4 a.m. is the “3-legged” lap; at 4:30 a.m. is the “Noisemaker” lap; at 5:30 a.m. is the “All Male” lap; at 6 a.m. is the “Bad Hair” lap; at 6:30 a.m. is the “All Female” lap; at 7 a.m. is the “Exercise” lap; and at 7:30 a.m. is the “All Team” lap.

Team captains need to remember that each team needs a hula hoop and stick mop and items for the theme laps. Teams should also bring games to play during the event, including corn hole and croquet; and items such as bubbles to make the event more festive.

Each team should also decorate its campsite, with a “People’s Choice” award being given to the team with the best campsite decorations.

But the event is not just for team members. Everyone is invited to come down to the high school track and see old friends and participate in the different events. This is a celebration for everyone in the community.

“Cancer is all around us, it has no boundaries,” Roy Duckworth said. “So why not celebrate when the dreaded disease has been defeated in the lives of our family, friends, and neighbors?”

“Yes, we are raising money for the American Cancer Society,” Roy Duckworth continued. “They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 1-800-ACS-2345 or online at www.cancer.org. Yes, we want your donations, but we also desire your participation.”