Relay for Life changes date, adds educational focus

By: Chrysta Carroll - Bladen Journal

ELIZABETHTOWN — A long-time happening in Bladen County is changing things up this year.

“We’re going to have a more educational event this year than we’ve had before,” said Angeline Powell, event director for Bladen County Relay for Life. “Each team picked a certain cancer, and they’re going to be decorating their tents according to the cancer they picked. They’re supposed to have literature at their booth about the cancer, so we’d love for people to come out and learn about the different kinds of cancers.”

In addition to the educational focus, the event will be undergoing another change, as organizers announced this week it has been moved to a 12-hour window on Friday, May 4. It was originally set for May 12.

With 37 days left, Bladen County is still stepping up to the plate. Out of the $78,000 goal, participants have raised more than $28,349 thus far. Top teams include Smithfield, which has raised $23,718 of its $30,000 goal; Chelles Belles/Team Royalty, which has already surpassed its goal, having raised $2,601; and the Maynard Family, which has raised $1,350 for the cause. The latter may be due in part to top participants Melissa (Mitzi) Maynard, who alone has raised $850 for Relay for Life.

“At Relay For Life no donation is too small, each and every dollar counts,” Relay’s web site reads. “Your donations help fund groundbreaking cancer research, patient care programs, and can make a difference in communities like ours. With every donation, you are helping the American Cancer Society save lives.”

Ceremonies will kick off at 11 a.m. by honoring everyone who has been affected by cancer and those who contributed to the success of the Relay event. The Survivor/Caregiver Walk honors the strength and courage of those on the front lines of battle against cancer, while they are cheered on by bystanders. Later in the day, the Luminaria Ceremony presents a powerful demonstration of lives taken by cancer, those who have survived it, or those still battling the disease. The Closing Ceremony wraps things up by looking forward to the work that still needs to be done.

The American Cancer Society has instituted a new way to register this year. For those who may not be adept at technology, the organization has started registration by telephone. Interested parties can sign up for fundraising by calling 800-227-2345. Registration is also available by visiting the event’s web page, where visitors can also purchase luminaries, donate to an existing team, or find additional information.

Relay for Life of Bladen County will take place Friday, May 4, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Elizabethtown Middle School athletic field.

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing ccarroll@bladenjournal.com.

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Chrysta Carroll

Bladen Journal