GALLIPOLIS — Supporters in the fight against cancer will once again appear in the Gallipolis City Park for Gallia County’s 21st annual Relay for Life survivor celebration and memorial.
The event is slated to begin June 3 with registration and dinner beginning at 4 p.m. and going until 6 p.m for the survivor celebration. The opening ceremony will be led by 93.1 the Wolf’s Tina Diddle as the mistress of ceremony. Local chaplain Fred Williams will lead the event’s invocation. The Pledge of Allegiance is expected to be led by a local Boy Scout troop.
The National Anthem will be led by Bob Gordon and American Cancer Society Gallia Relay for Life Leadership Committee Chairperson Karrie Davison will lead the relay’s oath. Dr. Alice and Dr. Eddie Dachowski will lead the presentation of survivors.
Jenny Henchey will lead special music at 6:30 p.m. as attending cancer survivors start the first relay lap, followed by caregivers and then the parade of teams. Teams will present tent activities along with local merchants for the public to enjoy throughout the evening.
Batman and fellow superheroes will make an appearance from 7-9 p.m. to discuss with families the importance of maintaining hope and strength in the face of adversity — in line with the relay’s theme of superheroes from all walks of life who are fighting cancer.
At 8 p.m., the small fry triathlon will be held for children ages 3 to 6. Children may have to cross through sprinklers and ride tricycles during the run.
At 8:45 p.m., individuals can send “messages to Heaven” on balloons available by the Doughboy memorial. Bryna Butler will lead the luminaria ceremony with special music by Michelle Poling Williams. A quiet candle walk will then be done by all in attendance before entertainment is provided by Paul “Bub” Williams.
The closing ceremony will begin at 11:30 p.m. with the 2016 American Cancer Society Gallia County Relay Leadership Committee. Davison will lead the event’s benediction at 11:55 p.m. before relay events end for the evening.
The following morning, “Jon’s Ride for Life” will have registration from 7-8 a.m. before the ride starts at 8:30 a.m. in Gallipolis City Park. Individuals can preregister by contacting J.T. Holland at (304) 593-5730 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Benefits will be donated to the American Cancer Society Gallia Relay for Life. The ride consists of a 60-mile tour through Gallia County.
A “kids’ ride” will be held around Gallipolis City Park for children ages 2 to 6. Registration fees consist of $30 per individual and $15 for children. Families may pay $30 for the first member and $15 for additional participants.
Gallia Relay for Life is also holding a “Paint the County Purple” event. Organizations can participate by having individuals wear purple June 3. Locations can decorate their structures purple and then upload a photo to the Gallia County Relay for Life Facebook page. Those whose photo receives to most likes will receive a prize and be recognized at Friday’s opening ceremonies.
Davison encouraged individuals to participate in as many events as possible.
“There’s no one that hasn’t been touched by cancer,” she said. “Either it’s personally or through a family member or a friend. Honestly, I (help Relay for Life) for my kids because one day I want for them, and my grandkids, to hear the word ‘cancer’ and not instantly cringe.”
For more information or to get a loved one’s name on a luminary, contact Davison at email@example.com or (740) 446-5901.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.