Archived Story

Still time to relay

Published 9:14pm Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Nearly a year’s worth of hard work is about to come together in the form of the Relay for Life, scheduled to begin Friday at 6 p.m. at Bennett’s Creek Park in North Suffolk. The 12-hour event is the American Cancer Society’s biggest Suffolk fundraiser each year and is expected to draw hundreds of participants, who will gather to celebrate cancer survivors, honor the memory of those lost to the deadly disease, raise awareness about its causes and the efforts to eradicate it and generally enjoy the fellowship of others who have been touched in some way by cancer.

The committee in charge of the Suffolk Rockin’ Relay for Life has spent much of the last year planning the event, encouraging individuals and teams to sign up to raise money for and participate in it, and coordinating its efforts with the city and other partners to make sure everybody enjoys a positive experience. Today and tomorrow, organizers will be engaged in a flurry of last-minute activities to make sure things go smoothly on Friday.

Opening ceremonies are set for 6 p.m., and the emotional survivor lap will take place shortly after, followed immediately by the survivors’ dinner. The somber luminaria ceremony will occur at 9 p.m., and teams will walk the track that has been laid out at the park until 6 a.m. on Friday, when a closing ceremony will be held.

Several teams will be on hand selling food, musical entertainment will be provided by bands, a disc jockey and karaoke, and individuals will have a few last chances to contribute to the fundraising effort. Luminaria bags, which honor loved ones who have lost their fight against cancer, will be sold for $10 each, car raffle tickets will be sold for $5 each, and one group will even be collecting old shoes (not sandals) that it will then turn in for cash.

There is still time to get involved in the fight against cancer. So far, 78 teams and 931 participants have raised more than $156,000 for the effort. To learn how you can get involved — even at the last minute — visit www.relay.org/suffolkva.

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