MT. VERNON — With less than two weeks to go, 21 teams have registered for Jefferson County Relay for Life, scheduled June 14 at Mt. Vernon Township High School.
More than 300 walkers will go around the clock, beginning at 6 p.m., in the battle against cancer during the American Cancer Society event that will conclude with closing ceremonies at 5 a.m. Saturday.
"We have 21 teams registered, but not all of them will be participating in the Relay," said Event Coordinator Ashley Withrow. "We will have 18 tents set up, including the Good Samaritan Hospital survivor's tent. Each team will have a fundraising tent and they'll offer concessions, including food, drinks and snack items. Some of them will have activities."
Booths will open from 4:30 p.m. Friday until they run out of products. Breakfast will be made available during the morning hours.
This year's event them is Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back.
A goal of $80,000 has been established for this year's event. Local officials have collected about $17,000 so far through various fundraising events including the 5K run and Bark for Life fundraising events, as well as team fundraising throughout the year. The opening ceremony will begin at 6 p.m., followed by the presentation of colors and the national anthem. Survivor speaker Sabra Mitchell is scheduled at 6:20 p.m. and an award recognition at 6:30 p.m. The survivor lap will commence at 6:35 p.m. and the fight back ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. During this event, participants are encouraged to make his or her own commitment and challenged to take a personal pledge of action in fighting back.
The luminary ceremony will start at 8 p.m. It takes place after sundown, honoring the community's cancer survivors and remembering those lost to the disease. Luminarias can be purchased for $10 by calling Withrow at 237-8469 or visiting the relay for life web site.
"We're encouraging the community to come out. You don't have to be a part of a team. There will be several activities and entertainment throughout the night," Withrow said.
According to the American Cancer Society, 72 cents of every dollar collected is directed toward cancer research, prevention, early detection, and free patient services. Only 7 cents covers general costs and overhead.