2008-05-01 / Front Page

2008 Wilkes Relay for Life kicks off Friday at 7 p.m.

Teams all over the Washington- Wilkes area are making last-minute preparations for the 2008 Wilkes County Relay for Life which kicks off Friday night at 7.

"Friday night, the event begins with a Survivors Ceremony and a Survivors Lap around the track," event chairman Cathy Lannae said, "followed by a Caregivers Lap during which friends and family join the survivors. The third lap is the Team Lap. Then, as is tradition with Relay for Life, each team will have a walker during the entire night to commemorate those on the cancer journey and to emphasize the message that cancer never sleeps."

Forty-five corporate sponsors have come forth to provide support to the event. For weeks now, the 21 local teams have held bake sales, yard sales, pancake, spaghetti, and barbeque suppers, and hamburger/ hot dog cookouts.

The event will start Friday evening at the Washington-Wilkes Parks Recreation Center and run through Saturday morning at sunrise.

During the event, Lannae said, Relay rules prohibit dogs, alcohol, smoking, running or blocking the track, along with skateboards, skates or bicycles. Since the American Cancer Society cannot be seen to endorse political candidates, Lannae said, "political candidates cannot distribute materials and teams cannot promote or endorse a candidate at the Relay."

Designated parking will be in the field next to the track. Entrance to the event is through the main gate of the track. After 11 p.m., anyone under 18 will have to be identified with a team and will be given an armband to wear.

The walkers continue until 6:15 a.m. when the closing "Fight Back" ceremony takes place. "It will include city officials, Relay planners and American Cancer Society representatives and will encourage everyone to take a pledge to fight back against this dreaded disease," Lannae said. "The final lap will be led by the kids of Wilkes County. Breakfast will be provided by McDonald's. Everyone is invited to come out to participate in the final lap."

To fuel the Relay activities through the night, various groups will be fund-raising with food, including foot-long hot dogs, hamburgers, barbecue, fishsandwiches and grilled chicken sandwiches, pizza, tamales, steak and Philly cheese steak sandwiches, hot wings, chili, crawdad soup, pasta and grits, Coke floats, cotton candy, popcorn, pastries, peanuts, ice cream, peach cobbler and more.

The Relay for Life, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, is the largest outdoor fund-raiser across the nation and brings together more than 3.5 million people every year to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost and empower communities to fight back against this heartbreaking disease.

2008 Relay Teams include: Church of the Mediator, Clifford Grove Baptist Church, Farmers & Merchants Bank, First Baptist Church, First United Methodist Church, Georgia Peaches & Peanuts, Heritage Health Care of Wilkes, Little River Aloha, Pliant Corp., Rayle EMC, Regions Bank, Springfield Baptist Church, St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Twin Oak Baptist Church, Washington Church of God, Wilkes County Love Connection, Wilkes County Seniors, Wills Memorial Hospital, Washington Police Dept., W-W Primary School, W-W Elementary School, and W-WCHS.

In-kind sponsors are The News- Reporter, WXKT-WLOV, and the Washington-Wilkes Parks and Recreation Department.

Platinum sponsors are Wills Memorial Hospital and Washington Seventh Day Adventist Church/Wilkes County Love Connection. Gold sponsors include: Barnett-Southern Corporation, Farmers & Merchants Bank, Farmers State Bank, Georgia Realty Sales, Poss Ace Hardware, Regions Bank, Springfield Baptist Church, Twin Oak Baptist Church, and Washington Wilkes Ventures, LLC.

Silver sponsors include: Badcock and More Home Furniture, Bennett, Davidson & Assoc., LLP, Blackmon Auto Parts, Bumper to Bumper of Washington, CSRA Home Health Agency, CSRA Private Duty, Inc., The Episcopal Church of the Mediator, Denard & Moore Construction, Essex Corporation, Fareway Building Supply, Fievet's Pharmacy, Heritage Healthcare of Wilkes, Jeff & Amy Treadwell Family, LaCabana Mexican Restaurant, Lannae Construction, McDonald's, Petal Pushers, Randall Family, Rayle EMC, Savannah Valley Rehab Center, Scarborough's, Sim Dill-Master Contractor, Southern Pine Mfg. Inc., St. Joseph's Catholic Church, the Andren and Virginia Appelquest family, the Randall family, Tena's Jewelry & Gift Shop, Washington Woman's Club, Wilkes County Cattlemen's Assn., Wilkes Eye Center, and Wilkes Telephone & Electric Company.

Additional sponsors include: Pop- Lahr Possibilities-Kay Poplin and Robin Edwards, Colonial Builders Supply-Ryan Hite, CH2MHill/ OMI-John Scott, L & L Farms- Raleigh Long, J & J Colonial Cleaners-Walter and Nadine Jones, Washington Hardware-Brian Denard, Kwik Stop-Tim Lawson, Miss Fancy Plants-Louise Grimaud, Erick Pagan, DMD, White Rock Baptist Church-Rev. G. L. Avery, and New Ford Baptist Church.

Other opportunities to provide support to Relay for Life include but are not limited to survivor tote bags, underwriting the survivor dinner, event programs, donations to the Silent Auction and raffle items

To remember those on a cancer journey or those lost to cancer, luminarias can be purchased for $5 through May 1. Contact Zella Bennett at 706-401-1509.

For further information on Relay for Life: Contact Cathy Lannae at 706-678-2862 or any Relay for Life team member.

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