Relay for Life to feature ‘fight back’ ceremony
Those attending the De Soto Relay for Life Friday and Saturday will add talking the talk to the customary walking the walk in the fight against cancer.
De Soto Relay for Life Chairwoman Lori Murdock said a third highlight event has been added to the relay this year to compliment the survivors' lap near the start of the relay and the luminaria lighting at 10 p.m.
"We'll have a fight-back ceremony at midnight," Murdock said. "It's a time people can pledge what they can do in the coming year to fight back against cancer."
The relay will be from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday at the De Soto athletic stadium behind Lexington Trails Middle School. Although walkers will start laps at 6 p.m., Jackie Tomkins of the local Jazzercise franchise will lead stretching exercises from 5:30 to 5:45 p.m. that evening to get walkers prepared for the laps ahead.
Murdock said those attended the relay would be familiar with the night's happenings other than the Fight Back Ceremony. Once again, opening ceremonies will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a presentation of colors by the De Soto VFW Post 6654 Honor Guard, the National Anthem, opening prayer and welcome by Murdock and De Soto Mayor Dave Anderson.
The survivors/caregivers' lap will conclude the opening ceremonies at about 6:45 p.m.
Among the night's events will include a return performance by Bluzville, children's games and a silent auction for team baskets. Also returning this year is the popular fundraiser in which men in drag vie for the Queen of the Relay, Murdock said.
Last year, the threat of thunderstorms forced the relay to move to the De Soto Community Center at 32905 W. 84th St. Murdock said city was offering that contingency again this year.
The change didn't prevent the relay from reaching its goal last year, and Murdock was confident the $42,000 2008 goal would be attained.
"As of now, we have about 23 teams," she said. "As always, some drop away and others sign up. Sponsorship-wise, we're a bit better than usual."
Murdock encouraged residents not on teams to come to the relay to enjoy the community, food, entertainment and perhaps drop a few dollars in fundraising activities.
"We always want people to come enjoy the evening," she said. "We enjoy the company of people from the community."