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Relay for Life set

Crawford County Relay for Life will be held on the track at Alma Intermediate School June 14-15 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

This year’s event will have plenty of food vendors, games, activities and special events, said coordinator Rhonda Lyle.

“We’re going to have games and activities going on all through the night,” Lyle said.

A fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, the CCRFL will kick off with a survivor’s luncheon hosted by Summit and Sparks Regional medical centers at 5:30 p.m., Lyle said.

This year’s Hero For Hope, a cancer survivor with a special story to share, is Melinda Bigelow. Bigelow will talk about her experience with cancer directly before the relay starts, and will lead the Survivor’s Lap at 7 p.m., Lyle said.

Once the cancer survivors have completed their first lap, all teams will take to the track “to get the relay started,” Lyle said.

After dark, the Luminaria Ceremony will take place. All those who have purchased a luminary in honor of a loved one who has died from cancer will light it and the loved ones’ names read, Lyle said.

Then the luminaries will be snuffed and a silent lap will follow, she said. Once it is completed, team members will trade off walking or running until 7 a.m.

One special event being held during the relay is the men’s beauty contest, with male members of area law enforcement and fire departments dressing in drag and walking the track for about an hour collecting money for the ACS, Lyle said.

Whoever collects the most will be declared the winner and will receive a plaque, she said.

“We are trying to bring awareness to the need for cancer research,” Lyle said of the event.

Other activities going on include live music, games, an Elvis impersonator, a fire truck and bouncy house for kids, and raffles, she said. Teams will be selling everything from popcorn and cotton candy, to pulled pork sandwiches and pizza, she said.

“We want it to be a positive, fun place for people to come,” Lyle said.

Relay for Life helps raise money for the American Cancer Society through the sale of luminaries and fundraising events leading up the relay.

Money from the event goes toward cancer research; the maintenance of Hope Lodge, which provides free accommodations for cancer patients and their caregivers at locations throughout the U.S.; transportation to treatments for recovering patients; a service that teaches cancer patients how to improve their appearance and self-image during chemotherapy and radiation; and a support system that pairs survivors with newly diagnosed patients.

For more information on the CCRFL, contact Lyle at (479) 206-0209.

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