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Relay effort in full swing

All the gears have been set in motion to get the Suffolk Rockin’ Relay off the ground.

Hundreds of shirts were handed out for the 74 team captains to take back to the more than 700 participants, and the accounting team was busy collecting the $29,000 that team captains brought in on Tuesday evening, the final bank night before the Relay.

“All these people in here tonight are just the team captains,” said Frances Carr. “It’s running like a well-oiled machine. Everyone is turning in their money and getting their shirts to get ready to go for Friday night.”

This year’s Relay effort by individuals ranks among the best efforts ever, according to organizers.

“It’s been good,” said Chairman Ray Bennett. “It’s been good, and it’s been busy. We’ve had a few clicks, but we’ve banked a lot tonight. The teams have been amazing in helping make up for the money we’ve lost from corporate sponsors.”

Having lost many corporate sponsors due to the economic downturn, individual Relay participants have stepped up.

“We grew from 54 teams to 74 teams in a single year,” Bennett said.

Last year, Suffolk volunteers raised $189,989 — short of their $220,000 goal. This year’s goal is $212,000. So, far Bennett estimated $129,000 has been raised.

“I’m optimistic we’ll reach our goal,” Bennett said. “We still have the night of the Relay to bring in money, too.”

The Suffolk Rockin’ Relay for Life begins Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy. To join a team, donate or find out more information visit www.suffolkrockinrelay.org or contact Becky Plate at 493-7972.