Relay for Life to kick off over dinner

Published 11:13 pm Friday, January 2, 2009

The kick-off celebration for the Suffolk Rockin’ Relay for Life 2009 is coming up, and organizers hope they will be able to draw even more teams than last year.

The kick-off dinner will be held at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 13 at the Celebrations Clubhouse, 750 Manning Road. Dinner will be served at the meeting. All team captains and everyone interested in learning more about Relay for Life are encouraged to attend.

“Relay for Life is the signature event of the American Cancer Society,” said Arlene Zeiler, the publicity chair for Suffolk Rockin’ Relay for Life.

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Suffolk’s Relay is unique, because it all started in 1981, when a group of people got together at a downtown furniture store and rocked in rocking chairs to raise money for the American Cancer Society. When Relay for Life came along later in the 1980s, the same group of people meshed with the new event, and it became the Suffolk Rockin’ Relay for Life.

On a national scale, Relays serve as a uniting event for communities all over America. At Relays, teams of people camp out at a local high school, park or fairground (at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy here in Suffolk) and take turns walking or running around a track. Each team is supposed to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Relays are overnight events, most between 12 and 24 hours in length.

Between the kick-off dinner and the Relay, teams raise money through a variety of innovative ways, from womanless beauty pageants to bake sales and everything in between.

Those who want to attend the dinner should RSVP by Jan. 9 to 493-7943. The dinner will include a speaker, prizes, materials needed for running a team and raising funds and a luminaria ceremony.

For more information on the dinner or Relay for Life, call 493-7943.