Relay For Life of Galax and Carroll County has a decidedly Disney twist to it with a theme of “Once Upon A Cure…” Event Coordinator Sally Chitwood and others want cancer battlers and their families to know finding a cure for the disease is no fairy tale.
It is a heroic story which sadly touches the lives of many in Carroll County. Indeed, one of Relay’s underlying themes is one of support so none have to face it alone. According to Chitwood, the event will be held on June 22 at Carroll County High School at Tommy Thompson Field. The opening ceremony is set for 6 p.m. with the closing ceremony slated at 11 p.m.
Activities planned include various team events, a men’s beauty contest for the coveted “Miss Relay” title, and a luminary ceremony which will take place at dusk. Members of the Cavalier Concert Choir will be on hand to sing the National Anthem, Kevin Kemp will also be on hand to sing, and members of the Carrol Dance Center will return to perform.
“We’ll have food (for sale) too. We especially want survivors and their families and caregivers to come. We have a special lap for them,” Chitwood said. She said the annual Survivors Banquet will be held tonight (June 20) at The First United Methodist Church in Hillsville at 225 Fulcher Street beginning at 4:30 p.m. with musical entertainment provided by Kevin Kemp. The free meal is scheduled to be served beginning at 6 p.m.
Anyone can attend the banquet and participants are encouraged to come with a caregiver. Other events include a “Paint The Town Purple” decoration contest for businesses organized by the Hillsville Beautification Committee. Council previously approved a proclamation declaring June 18 through June 24 as “Paint The Town Purple” week.
“Survivors give us hope. We encourage people to come out. It’s a free event. It’s a good evening of fun supporting the families and their loved ones. In Carroll County, it’s all volunteers who put on Relay. All the proceeds raised go to the American Cancer Society with some 70 percent going to research,” Chitwood said. “I think it’s a good way to support finding an answer. The Society gives to a variety of organizations. Through research there are people who will be diagnosed with cancer but will live much longer. It gives us hope one day you’ll have a normal life span. Maybe it could be treated with a pill one day.”
Chitwood said the fundraising goal for this year’s Relay is $65,000. She said Relay For Life exceeded the $60,000 goal for last year. Twenty-nine teams registered last year; combined efforts have reduced that number to 19 for the event (as of press time).
David Broyles may be reached at 276-779-4013 or on Twitter@CarrollNewsDave.