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Relay for Life set for Friday

April 19, 2012

Put on your purple and head to Blankenship Field on Friday afternoon. Howard and Glasscock County Relay For Life 2012 will take place from 8 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday.

Registration will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Registered individuals will receive T-shirts and a $5 dinner coupon to be used at any of the team food vendors. The coupons are sponsored by the Hodnett Family in honor of Butch Hodnett.

Opening ceremonies will take place at 7:30 p.m. and the official first lap — the Survivors Lap — will take place at 8 p.m. A survivors reception will follow under the event tent.

“I encourage all cancer survivors to come out and take that first lap with me,” Debbye ValVerde, Hero of Hope 2012, said. “A cancer survivor is anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer, whether it was yesterday, today or five years ago. I challenge all of them to come out and take that first lap with me.”

Throughout the evening, there will be various events taking place under the event tent and on the field. Several olympic type games to go along with the theme “Just Relay,” will be sponsored by the different Relay teams. Traditional events will also take place.

“The overwhelming feeling that is felt when survivors take that first lap with the community standing on the sidelines cheering them on is indescribable,” ValVerde said. “It gives you a feeling that makes you want to fight even harder against cancer.”

Another traditional part of relay will continue this year with the luminaria ceremony. For those who haven't purchased luminarias yet, purchases can be made in honor or in memory of someone until the ceremony begins at 10 p.m. Each luminaria can be purchased for a donation.

“We are out there to show support for those affected by cancer and bring hope to those who have lost someone or are fighting cancer themselves,” Manny Negron, Relay chairman, said. “We want to encourage any and all survivors to come out and experience the feeling of Relay. They will find a support and inner healing throughout the night.

“My purpose at Relay this year is to hear as many stories from our survivors as I possibly can. I want to hear their stories because I know there are a lot of them out there and they need to be told,” Negron said.

Survivors who missed registration online may register at Relay. All survivors are encouraged to fill out the information cards so they can receive information for next year's Relay.

Plenty of food and refreshments will be available for purchase.

There will be security at Blankenship Field during the all-night event and a sweep will take place, clearing out all those who do not have a wristband on. The needed bands will be distributed before the luminaria service.

“We want to encourage everyone to stay all night, take part in the activities and get involved, but we want to be able to know who is there, which is the purpose for the wristband,” Negron said. “Come ready to have a good time and celebrate, fght and remember.”

For more information, call Negron at 816-9464.

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