Relay for Life welcomes extra feet
Rita Jones vowed no one would be turned away if they showed up at the De Soto Relay for Life next weekend without first signing up for a team.
"We're pretty open in De Soto," said the Relay's 2003 event chairwoman. "We're not real sticklers with rules. We're out there doing this for the cause."
The Relay for Life will start at 6 p.m. June 20 and continue until 6 a.m. the next morning at the De Soto District Stadium.
Jones, who has helped with the Relay in some capacity since it started in De Soto four years ago, said teams could still sign up for the event, and walk-up walkers would be welcome.
"I can't guarantee they'll have a T-shirt because they've already been ordered," she said. "But we'd still welcome teams or even people who want to come walk with us. That makes the night go a lot quicker."
As of Tuesday, 21 teams had signed up for the Relay, Jones said. That is an increase from the 19 teams that participated last year, she said. The additional teams could help the De Soto Relay reach its $25,000 goal, $4,000 more than collected last year.
"The American Cancer Society sets the goal for us," she said. "We're always pretty close to our goal even if we don't make it."
Opening ceremonies will start at 6:30 p.m. and will conclude with the survivors' lap. Jones welcomed all cancer survivors to take part in that event even if they didn't participate in the rest of the Relay.
"Anybody who's a survivor can come up to that tent and join in," she said.
This year's not-to-be-missed feature is the Pioneer 4-H Club's kiss-the-pig contest, Jones said. The club has placed collection cans around town with pictures of De Soto USD 232 Superintendent Marilyn Layman and other local notables. The person whose can collected the most money will kiss a pig owned by a club member, Jones said.
Corporate sponsors include Intervet, The Explorer and the De Soto VFW Post. Blacktop Paving and Construction underwrote the cost of DJs, Jones said. Other planned activities included a scavenger hunt, piÃ±ata, two live bands and servings of pizza and barbecue, Jones said.
"We have just lots of fun stuff," she said. "It's great fun. You make lots of friends. Time really goes a lot quicker than you think it would. Walking all night -- you wouldn't think you'd make it, but you do."