Relay for Life kickoff to be Thursday night

Published 9:41 am Wednesday, February 4, 2015

NW0203 Relay for Life Kickoff A

Game on!
Carter County Relay for Life participants will be looking to knock cancer out of the playing field this relay season, as the Carter County Relay kicks off the 2015 campaign Thursday night.
The theme for the 2015 Relay for Life is “Game On Cancer,” and the kickoff rally will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Truman Clark Annex.
2015 Chairwoman Genna Price said the theme for this year’s Relay is a way to underscore the seriousness of the disease.
“We have to take cancer seriously,” she said. “It is no game.”
Price said the event is expected to be a fun, family night even with the serious message.
“We want it to be a fun experience for everyone,” Price said. “There will be activities and we will play games. It should be a great time.”
During the kick-off, teams are invited to participate and decorate a table matching their theme.
For example, Price’s team – Ward’s Warriors – has the theme of Candyland. “Our theme phrase is ‘Life is sweeter without cancer’,” she said.
Continuing with the game theme, the Carter County Relay for Life is making a Carter County-based game of Monopoly named Carteropoly.
Price said Relay members are currently selling the spots on the game board to interested businesses or organizations.
After all the spots are filled, game sets will be printed featuring the Carter County places. The games will be sold by the Relay for Life as a fundraiser for this year’s goal.
“It will be really neat when it is finished,” Price said. “Everyone can buy one and have their own unique piece of Carter County history.”
The goal for this year’s campaign is $105,000, which is less than the goal of $125,000 that was missed last year. Last year, over 800 people participated in Carter County and raised $97,200.
“It was the economy last year,” Price said. “It was hard to fundraise to meet the goal they had.”
Another goal for the Relay is to have 45-50 teams signed up for the fundraiser this year. This is an increase from last year’s goal of 40.
“Personally, I want to see the track wrapped with teams and I want to see more survivors on the track all night,” Price said. “We want to see more survivors to come out and take part. We want to be able to honor them.”
Ward has been involved with the Relay for Life for six years. She initially started with the fundraiser after a coworker at the Elizabethton Housing and Development Agency was diagnosed with cancer.
Then, within five months of each other, her son, husband and father were diagnosed with cancer. Her son was diagnosed with melanoma in November 2010. Then her husband was diagnosed in March 2011 and her father in April 2011, both with Stage 3 colon cancer, which she said was identical in every way.
“It happened so fast,” Price said. “It took us by surprise so we didn’t have time to really think about what had happened.”
After the multiple diagnoses, Price said the Relay for Life provided support for her family and “adopted” them for the holiday season.
She said her son, husband and father are now all doing okay. Her son has had surgery for the melanoma and is stable. Her husband has been declared “free of evidence of disease”, and her father is off treatments.
The annual Relay for Life will be on June 26 starting at 6 p.m. at the Elizabethton High School track.

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