City gears up for Relay

Published 8:53 pm Saturday, May 12, 2012

Zumba, hula hoops and Hawaiian shirts — all will be present at this weekend’s Suffolk Rockin’ Relay for Life.

So will pajamas, corn hole contests, a limbo contest and scavenger hunt. All the planned activities make it sound like the sole purpose of Relay for Life is to have fun.

But while participants usually have plenty of fun at the event, the real purpose is to celebrate victories against cancer, remember those who have lost battles to the disease and fight back by raising money for research.


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“We are super excited,” said Ginny Lee Melton, the chairman for the event. “We’re tying up all the loose ends. We have all the entertainment lined up. We are still selling luminarias, and we will sell those through the day of Relay. We’re getting excited.”

Relay for Life will be held Friday night through Saturday morning at Bennett’s Creek Park, 3000 Bennett’s Creek Park Road.

Leading up to the day of Relay, the committee is encouraging everyone to “paint the town purple.”

“We invite everybody to participate, if it’s putting a purple bow on your mailbox or wearing purple or putting a purple ribbon anywhere that’s legal,” Melton said. “Anything to promote the coming Relay.”

On the day of Relay, opening ceremonies begin at 6 p.m., and the celebratory Survivor Lap is at 6:30. A variety of musical entertainment takes place until the emotional Luminaria Ceremony, which remembers people who lost their battles with cancer and honors those still living.

After the ceremony, a disc jockey will entertain the crowd and a variety of special laps and contests will carry red-eyed participants throughout the night — things such as a pajama lap, red light/green light lap, a hula race and scavenger hunt.

The closing ceremony begins at 6 a.m.

“You’re not required to stay all night, but Relay goes all night because cancer never sleeps, so we’re going to be out there having a god time all night,” Melton said. “We want people to come and have a good time but still remember why we all fight so hard against cancer.”

The committee also still is seeking volunteers for setup and cleanup. Setup will begin at 9 a.m. Friday morning, and cleanup begins immediately after Saturday morning’s ceremonies end.

“We never have too many volunteers for the day-of setup and cleanup,” Melton said. “If anybody would like to come and help, we’d love to have them.”

The schedule of events is below. For more information, visit


  • 4 p.m. — Accounting opens
  • 4-8 p.m. — Luminaria Sales
  • 5-6 p.m. — Survivor and Team Registration
  • 6 p.m. — Opening Ceremonies
  • 6:30 p.m. — Survivor Lap, Caregiver Lap, Survivor and Caregiver Reception
  • 6:30 p.m. — The Soul Steppers; Campsite Judging
  • 7 p.m.            — Tyler Layne; Kids’ Lap
  • 7:30 p.m. — Zumba with Averi Pino
  • 8 p.m. — Island Boy
  • 8:30 p.m. — Children’s Readers Theater
  • 9 p.m. — Luminaria Ceremony
  • 9:30 p.m. — DJ Benford Hunter begins
  • 10:30 p.m. — Hawaiian Shirt Lap
  • 11:30 p.m. — Committee Lap


  • Midnight — Accounting closes; Pajama Lap; Team Captains’ Pajama Party
  • 1:30 a.m. — Corn Hole Tournament begins
  • 2 a.m. — Beach Hat and Shades Lap
  • 2:30 a.m. — Scavenger Hunt
  • 3:30 a.m. — Red Light/Green Light Lap
  • 4 a.m. — Limbo Contest Lap
  • 4:30 a.m. — Hula Race
  • 5:30 a.m. — Breakfast Lap
  • 5:45 a.m. — Final lap for participants
  • 6 a.m. — Closing and Fight Back Ceremony