Relay off to fast pace
Rita Jones hopes the long-range forecast holds for Friday night.
"It looks like sunshine, which we're happy with," the chairwoman of the De Soto's American Cancer Society's Relay For Life said. "We've had a lot of people praying for us."
The Relay is to start at 6 p.m. Friday at USD 232's west stadium behind Lexington Trails Middle School. It will continue until 6 the following morning with traditional events like the survivors' lap, luminaria lighting ceremony and -- of course -- team laps throughout the night.
There will be a silent auction for team baskets to be displayed on the infield from 6 to 9 p.m. with the winners announced before the luminaria lighting.
Walkers will be treated to music by Bluzville, a late-night Pizza Hut delivery and breakfast burritos from Wally's Cafe, Jones said.
Last year's relay was called off after a day of thunderstorms and a "mini relay" conducted in conjunction with the city of De Soto's annual Fourth of July celebration.
This year's relay looks to be the biggest yet and -- most importantly -- most successful in raising funds for cancer research and support of local individuals and families coping with the illness, Jones said.
The event's 2006 goal is to raise $36,000. As of the first bank night May 24, teams had collected $20,000, Jones said.
"We're well on our way," she said. "That's probably one of the best averages we've had at that point in the season. Having that much money already is a good sign."
The event's $1,000 sponsors are Huhtamaki Americas Inc., the city of De Soto and the De Soto Explorer, and $500 sponsors are Carpenter's Local Union No. 713, Christ Church Mill Creek, Faith Builders International, Intervet Inc., Pizza Hut and Wally's Cafe, Jones said.
Those not on teams are still encouraged to come to the event, drop spare change in team collection baskets and enjoy such ceremonies as the luminaria lighting, which is the don't miss part of the relay, Jones said. Luminarias can be purchased until about 9 p.m., she said.
Jones, who will represent the Kansas 3rd congressional district at the national Celebration on the Hill Sept. 20 in Washington, D.C., said she encouraged everyone to sign the banner she will take on that trip.
"I want it full of names," she said.