Relay set for Friday at Chesy track

Published 10:15 am Thursday, May 13, 2010

CHESAPEAKE — It’s a chance for cancer survivors to celebrate and join together to fight a killer that hits 1.5 million Americans each year.

That’s the mission for the upcoming Lawrence County Relay for Life that will be Friday and Saturday at Chesapeake Middle School and the high school football field and track.

The two-day event kicks off with the survivors’ dinner at 5 p.m. Friday at the middle school cafeteria.

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“If there is a cancer survivor who wants to come to the dinner, they are welcome to come,” Melanie Kerstetter, county Relay chairwoman, said. “They can register from 4 to 5 p.m.”

Then at 6 p.m. all the survivors will join to take the first lap on the high school track, amid the cheers of the Relay teams.

Right now there are 20 teams signed up to participate in the 18-hour Relay, all with the goal of meeting the $105,000 target for the event. Teams conduct fundraisers throughout the months leading up to Friday and all money raised goes to the American Cancer Society for research.

The teams camp out at the track overnight in what has been described as the largest slumber party in the country. Teams will sell food and crafts.

“Someone from your team has to be on the track at all times walking,” Kerstetter said. “The purpose is to show cancer never sleeps.”

At 9 p.m. will be the luminary ceremony where lights are purchased for $10 in memory of a cancer victim or in honor of a survivor.

“Last year we had a 1,000 go around the track,” Kerstetter said. “That will be the only lights. Then we have all the names read.”

Throughout the night there will be entertainment, including performances from Four Mile, the girls band from South Point and Chesapeake, Broken Silence, a boys ensemble from Fairland and Chesapeake high schools, and Collin Kennedy, a Chesapeake student who does beat-boxing.

There will be Zumba at midnight at the middle school gym with an outdoor breakfast set for 7 a.m. At 9 a.m. MartyFord Experience, a Christian band from Chillicothe, will perform.

From 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday will be a silent auction where bids will be taken on tickets to Cincinnati Reds games, Marshall University memorabilia and NASCAR items. The Relay ends at noon on Saturday.

“All the teams will have booths and there is a ton of food like hot dogs, hamburgers, funnel cake, all the good fair food,” Kerstetter said. “It is a great family event. There are a ton of things for kids and adults to do.”