Relay approaches

Published 4:15 pm Saturday, May 14, 2016

The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life takes place this Friday, and organizers are hoping plenty of people will come out to support the fight against cancer, celebrate victories and remember those lost to cancer.

“We really geared it towards kids and families this year, so we want to make sure we get everybody out there,” said Dana DeFreeuw, the People Lead for Relay for Life. “There will be activities going on all night long.”

This year’s theme is definitely kid-friendly. It is Dr. Seuss — “Cancer: Not Here, Not There, Not Anywhere.”

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“It’s free to the public,” DeFreeuw said.

Opening ceremonies for the event, held at Nansemond River High School, begin at 6 p.m. The event lasts until 6 a.m. Saturday morning, with the closing ceremony beginning at 5 a.m.

Following the opening of the event, the fun begins. Live entertainment, including Buckshot VB, Joint Therapy Band and Tyler Lane, will play. The Teeny Tiny Farm petting zoo will be available for children with a donation.

A Zumba instructor will teach a “purple glove” dance that will be recorded, DeFreeuw said.

“It’s going to have a lot of hand-waving,” she said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Various teams will have different activities at their booths, such as fundraisers, raffles and food sales.

“All the teams will have different things going on,” DeFreeuw said.

The emotional luminaria ceremony will take place at 10 p.m. It is a time to remember those who have died of cancer, honor those who are still fighting and celebrate those who have beat cancer.

Nighttime activities will include Dr. Seuss movies on the big screen, an “Aladdin”-themed lap by the Nansemond River High School theater troupe, a midnight “pajama jam” with glow sticks, and more.

DeFreeuw said it’s not too late for people to form teams, sign up and get a space for their tent. Even if you’re not part of a team, the event is free and open to the public.

So far, 71 teams and 572 participants have raised $91,000. There is a goal of 100 teams.

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