De Soto Relay For Life ready to circle the track for record year
Fun, reflection scheduled for annual cancer event
The annual De Soto Relay For Life will continue with an ambitious goal in its sixth year.
"Our goal is to collect $36,000," said De Soto relay chairwoman Rita Jones.
If that goal is reached, it would be a $5,000 increase in what was collected last year in the American Cancer Society event.
Money raised from the De Soto relay and others in other communities is used to pay for cancer research and for support services for those fighting the disease.
The event will start at 7 p.m. Friday at De Soto High School football stadium and will conclude 12 hours later with closing statements. Those staying to the end will be provided a 6 a.m. breakfast from Wally's Cafe.
Twenty-five teams have formed to take part in the event, Jones said. That was two more than what took part in last year's event, she said.
New this year will be an early morning tournament of Texas hold'em, the poker game enjoying wide popularity through television exposure.
"There won't be a buy in," Jones said. "Walkers will play for donated prizes.
"We're having water balloon volleyball again. The kids always love that."
Walkers will also be entertained by the band Bluesville, and have the opportunity to enliven early morning walking with a crazy-hat contest or by taking part in a game of midnight bingo.
The two events at the core of the Relay For Life are the survivors' lap, scheduled for the end of the 7 p.m. opening ceremonies, and the lighting of luminaria in memory of those who have died from cancer. The lighting is scheduled for 10 p.m.
De Soto residents Dorothy Nalley and Lori Murdock will speak before the survivors' lap.
Luminaria can be purchased until 9 p.m. Friday, Jones said.
Among the other activities will be a scavenger hunt, silent auction of team baskets, a game tent and a delivery from Pizza Hut.
De Soto event organizers like to keep the relay informal as a way to increase participation, Jones said.
"We love to have people make donations, be we also like to have people come out even if they don't belong to a team," she said. "We'll have a jar out there so they can throw in their loose change.
"Our main goal is that $36,000, but we like to have a good time and have people enjoy the evening with us."