Jennifer Branham, left, and Laquisha Reed, both city employees, decorate the city’s tent with a hula skirt before Relay For Life 2012 kicks off. The city will once again have a team in the event this year.
Jennifer Branham, left, and Laquisha Reed, both city employees, decorate the city’s tent with a hula skirt before Relay For Life 2012 kicks off. The city will once again have a team in the event this year.

Archived Story

City pulls out stops for Relay

Published 8:25pm Saturday, March 2, 2013

Editor’s note: This is another in a series of stories leading up to the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life on May 17.

The city of Suffolk team at Relay For Life has become known for its no-holds-barred tent decorations, high level of participation among city employees and variety of pre-event fund-raisers.

Lakita Watson, the city’s director of Parks and Recreation, is one of the people in charge of the Relay’s city team. This is her fourth year as a co-coordinator.

“We work closely with the Relay For Life,” Watson said. “Cancer has affected so many people in so many different ways. It’s one of those things that unfortunately have common ground and understanding.”

The city aims to have at least 35 employees, if not more, that sign up to be at the event and walk. But many more participate in lead-up activities, including the annual golf tournament.

“We take a lot of pride in the golf tournament,” Watson said. “It’s done very well the last couple of years.”

The credit for the city’s tent decorations goes to Diana Klink, acting media and community relations director, Watson said.

“Once she gets the theme, she just goes right with it,” Watson said. “She is the mastermind behind why our tent always looks so good.”

Past decorations and props at the tent have included birthday hats, for the “Celebrate a World with More Birthdays” theme, as well as island decorations for the “Wipe Out Cancer” theme.

The Suffolk Youth Advisory Council also sells concessions at the event.

“We do anything we can do to raise money and find a cure,” Watson said. “We relay, because we’ve been affected, and we want to be a part of the solution.”

The city’s team currently is in second place for funds raised with $3,010.

The Relay For Life will be held at Bennett’s Creek Park on May 17, beginning at 6 p.m. It will last through 6 a.m. the next morning.

For more information, visit the website at www.relayforlife.org/suffolkva.

 

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