It’s a team effort that organizers would like to see pay off big for the American Cancer Society.
“Our goal this year is $60,000,” said Kevin Russell, chairman of Lee County’s Relay for Life. “The good thing about this money is it goes for cancer research, treatment and services, and a good portion stays right here in the area.”
Lee County’s Relay for Life celebration will be June 12, but local teams have been busy since the kickoff five months ago.
“We’ve got quite a few teams,” Russell said. “From January until now, they have been raising money. They’ve had gospel singings, sold T-shirts, had yard sales.”
Virginia Buse is captain of the Hebron United Methodist Church team, which today is sponsoring a bake sale at Renasant Bank in downtown Saltillo, “From 9 a.m. until I sell out of cakes,” she said.
Through previous fundraisers, as well as the $100 each team member is asked to raise, “We’ve made $3,500 so far,” said Buse, who got involved with Relay for Life the hard way.
“I had lung cancer in 2007, and I’ve got two sisters with breast cancer,” she said. “We just need to raise money to find a cure.”
Ask around, cancer survivor Russell said, “and all of us have been touched by it. It’s close to our hearts.”
That, he said, will bring people out to Relay for Life, which has found a new home in Lee County at Saltillo City Park.
“Tupelo supports Relay for Life very well,” he said, “but to get more of the county people involved, we made a decision to move it to Saltillo, which just redid their city park. We thought we could use that to our advantage.”
The park has a playground where inflatables and other children’s activities will be set up. It’s got a walking track for the laps Relay for Life team members will take. Better yet, it’s got a backup plan – the nearby Saltillo Community Center – in case of rain.
“You don’t want it to rain, but if it does, it’s great to have a Plan B,” Russell said.
Activities at the ’80s-themed event will get started at 5:30 p.m.
“We’ll have tons of food and lots of activities for all ages,” Russell said, with entertainment that includes the band Full Tilt. “We’re going to have a survivors’ celebration. We’ll have karaoke. We’re going to have a huge gospel concert that’ll get under way about 6:30.”
Featuring Heaven’s Highway, Saving Grace, Southern Image and The Holloway Family, the concert is free, but don’t let that stop your pocketbook.
Through hamburger sales and the individual teams’ onsite fundraisers, “We want to raise a lot of money,” Buse said. “We want a cure.”
Contact Ginny Miller at (662) 678-1582 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Area Relay for Life events
Relay for Life activities in Northeast Mississippi already have been held in Lafayette, Itawamba, Lowndes, Oktibbeha and Chickasaw counties. Upcoming events are scheduled for:
May 29 – Baldwyn, Latimer Park
June 5 – Prentiss County, Keenum Stadium at Northeast Mississippi Community College, Booneville; Alcorn County, Crossroads Arena Lawn, Corinth; Union County, New Albany Sports Plex
June 12 – Lee County, Saltillo City Park; Calhoun County, Bruce Square; Clay County at City Park; Marshall County, Sam Coopwood Park, Holly Springs; Tippah County, Ripley Downtown Square
June 19 – Pontotoc County, Pontotoc Courthouse Square; Monroe County, Frisco Park, Amory
June 20 – Tishomingo County, Mineral Springs Park, Iuka; Alcorn County, Crossroads Arena Lawn, Corinth
For more information, contact Elizabeth Fair of the American Cancer Society at (662) 844-8544.
Other Lee County events
Today – 9 a.m., bake sale at Renasant Bank, downtown Saltillo.
May 30 – A “Dance for a Cure” will be from 6-9 p.m. at the Saltillo Community Center. Music will be family friendly. Cost is $5 at the door and hamburger plates will be available.
Ginny Miller/NEMS Daily Journal