By RICK HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — MT. VERNON — Purple ribbons and signs were placed at strategic locations in the King City early this week in preparation for the Jefferson County Relay for Life event. It will be held overnight Friday at Mt. Vernon Township High School.
"We had a paint the town event, in which we placed purple ribbons and signs around town," said Relay for Life Chairman Ashley Withrow.
During Relay for Life events, participants camp out overnight and take turns walking or running around the track. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Withrow said earlier over 20 teams will be participating in this year's event. A goal of $80,000 has been established for this year's event. Proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.
"On May 22, the American Cancer Society celebrated 100 years of saving lives from cancer and creating a world with more birthdays," says ACS spokeswoman Tavia Vasicek. "It's the progress we've made together — as a community, as volunteers, as survivors and as leaders — that has helped us reach this incredible milestone with tremendous success."
Withrow has released the following schedule for the Jefferson County event:
4:30 p.m. — Concessions will open
5 p.m. — Jermaine Bollinger
6 p.m. — Opening ceremony; welcome by emcee Ashley Bietz; opening prayer by Mike Brown of Second Baptist Church
6:05 p.m. — Presentation of colors, American Legion Color Guard; national anthem by Rachel Hall; and welcome by Withrow
6:20 p.m. — Survivor speaker Sabra Mitchell
6:35 p.m. — Survivor lap; music by Lora Greathouse and Rachel Hall; caregiver lap, music by Greathouse; team recognition lap
7 p.m. — Fight Back ceremony; Hawkins School of Tai Kwon Do; luminary sales close
7:30 p.m. — Zumba
8 p.m. — John Scrivner band featuring Dr. David Walters
9 p.m. — Luminaria ceremony; invocation by Rick Hill, music by Lora Greathouse, moment of silence as luminary illuminated and names read
10 p.m. — Music by American Lion
12- 5 a.m. — Overnight activities
5 a.m. — Closing ceremony
Withrow said the overnight activities will include a frozen T-shirt contest, hula hoop, Minute to Win It contest, corn hole tournament, and water balloon volleyball.
One of the most touching moments during the event is the luminary ceremony which takes places after sundown, honoring the community's cancer survivors and remembering those lost to the disease. Participants will circle the track that is surrounded with glowing luminary that bears the name of someone who has battled cancer. Luminaria may be purchased for $10 by calling Withrow at 237-8469. They may also be purchased Friday at the event.