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Relay for Life expected to draw thousands tonight

By Staff
RELAY FOR LIFE Martha Shaulis, left, of the Jeff Anderson Nursing and Administration Relay for Life team, and Alicia Bancroft of the 15th Avenue Baptist Church Freedom Fighters team sort T-shirts for their team members. They attended a recent Relay for Life meeting at Union Planters Bank. American Cancer Society's Lauderdale County Relay for Life begins at 7 p.m. tonight at Meridian High School's Ray Stadium. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Ashley McPhearson and Penny Randall / staff writers
June 6, 2003
Relay for Life the annual event that honors and celebrates people with cancer begins tonight at Meridian High School's Ray Stadium.
The walk-a-thon begins at 7 p.m. and continues through the night until 5:30 a.m. Saturday.
Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society's signature event to raise funds for research, education and advocacy. It also increases cancer awareness and highlights the benefits of early detection.
This is Vance's first year to serve as chairperson, but she has been actively involved in Relay for Life for six years as part of the SuperStop team.
Opening ceremonies for Lauderdale County's Relay for Life are tonight at 7 p.m. with the singing of the national anthem and the recognition of sponsors.
The survivor lap will follow opening ceremonies and then volunteers and participants take the track in mass for the parade of teams which will begin the "walk-all-night."
Throughout the night, participants and spectators will snack on food and enjoy live entertainment.
Teams are the core of the event. The teams will be housed all over Ray Stadium in tents that are decorated for the camp site judging competition.
Teams will also compete in the dinner competition, midnight snack competition, entertainment, a pajama walk and lap counting competition. Groups will also provide food items and activities to raise more money for the fight against cancer.
Points are awarded for the various competitions as well as to the team with the most members attending the cancer smart shop. The overall winner of Relay for Life is the team with the most points for the night.
At 10 p.m., the lights will be lowered and a luminaria ceremony will take place to honor those winning the battle against cancer and to remember those who lost the battle.
New this year is the Cancer Smart Shop, an innovative educational tool designed to provide life saving information about how you can protect yourself and your family from cancer. It will be open from 6 p.m.-10 p.m.
Cancer survivors are invited to attend a reception in their honor at the south end of the football field at 6 p.m.
Last year, the Lauderdale County Relay for Life raised more than $395,000 for the American Cancer Society. This year, the goal is $400,000.
This year's honorary chairpersons for Relay for Life are Zexa and Rex Alman of Meridian. Both are cancer survivors.