LYNCHBURG — Eleven years ago, Moore County rose to the challenge and began what has become a remarkably successful annual Relay for Life Campaign. This year’s event will be held Friday, June 5. This year the event will move from Wiseman Park — where it has been held for several years — up to the Lynchburg Square and will be held from 6 p.m. until midnight.
“It will be a little different (this year). We’ve been going all night long but it’s been getting harder and harder to do that,” said Nancy Hatfield, one of the event organizers. “We want everybody to be there with us from 6-12. We’re gonna have games, we’re gonna have food, so come out and eat with us, play, enjoy some good music.”
Moore County’s first Relay for Life event was held on the Moore County High School football field in 2005. It raised $18,762.96 for Cancer research. Since then, and until this year, the event has been held in Wiseman Park and has raised a total of $331,816.
The Relay for Life concept, which is community-based and volunteer driven, was born 30 years ago, when colorectal surgeon, Dr. Gordy Klatt, walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Wash., a total of 83.6 miles. During that time he raised $27,000 to fight cancer. As he circled the track, he envisioned having teams in communities of all sizes who would participate in the fund raising effort. Thus far, his vision has raised $5 billion nationwide and has spread to other countries.
This year Moore County has 11 teams: All Jacked Up For a Cure, The Cashion Team, The Encouragers, HOSA, The Kettle Crew, The Lynchburg Bank, The Lynchburg Vet Hospital, The Methodist Movers, Scouting for a Cure, The Raider Relayers and Trinity Christian Fellowship. The teams will be culminating months of fund raising efforts on Relay Night. Merchants on the Square are invited to participate in “Paint the Town Purple,” recognizing the Relay’s official color. A trophy will be awarded for the best window decoration.
Following the opening ceremony at 6 p.m., survivors and caregivers will make their “victory lap” around the square.
The Cavaliers, an award-winning and spirited gospel group with local roots, will perform at 7 p.m. Noah Hinshaw will perform at 8 p.m. The Luminaria Ceremony will be at 9:30 p.m., remembering loved ones lost to cancer. Luminaria bags and jars may be purchased on the night of the walk from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Luminaria Tent on the Square. There will be plenty of food and snacks for sale. Loaded baked potatoes, BBQ, kielbasa, hamburgers, hot dogs, homemade ice cream and strawberry shortcake are just a few of the delicacies that will be available.
Those attending can also enjoy a variety of games all evening. Music will be provided by disc jockey Wayne Ringler until the Closing Ceremony at 11:30 p.m. “Anybody that has small children, especially little girls, we’re gonna have the Princesses there. They’re gonna be at the gazebo.
“There will be picture taking with them, so it should be a fun night, we just hope everybody will come out and support us,” added Hatfield.
Tragically, the Relay for Life founder, Dr. Klatt, died in 2014 at age 71 from the disease he was committed to defeating. The good work he started lives on through the dedicated efforts of communities like Moore County, which will continue to honor his wishes and “Keep up the fight!”
—By JUNE PUGH, Moore County News Contributor, firstname.lastname@example.org
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