Bertie Relay organizers make plans

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 15, 2005

WINDSOR – Planners working on Relay for Life are looking for people who want to entertain the public during the weekend of May 13-14 at Bertie High School when workers will attempt to raise $190,00 to fight cancer.

At a meeting for planners and team captains at Southwestern Middle School, Darlene Johnson asked that talented people who are willing to donate a small amount of time to the effort call her at 794-4159.

This year for the first time, three people will share chairmen’s duties, Bobbie Parker of Aulander, Glenwood Mitchell and JoAnn Jordan of Windsor. Workers will be trying extra hard to meet Bertie County’s goal after falling short of the same amount last year by about $3,000. The county still placed first in the nation in per capita donations in its population category.

Bertie Memorial Hospital got this year’s effort off to a good start when it became a platinum sponsor with a $2,500 donation. The hospital staff last year raised $10,400.

As the May weekend draws nearer, planners are laying the groundwork for what is hoped to be the biggest and best Relay for Life to date. Mitchell and Bertie County Sheriff’s Department’s Det. Ed Pittman are revamping security after teenagers last year caused minor problems. Parents often drop carloads of youth off at the school to enjoy the event, leaving them un-chaperoned and boisterous.

Opening ceremony this year begins at 6 p.m. and will be followed by recognition of cancer survivors, who are asked to contact any Relay for Life team member so they can be registered. All cancer survivors will receive special t-shirts and will be honored at a reception before and after the opening ceremony. Planners would also like to hear from a cancer survivor willing to speak about 10 minutes about his/her personal experience.

A favorite part of the Relay tradition is the lighting of luminaries around 9 p.m. Friday night. The luminaries are sold for $10 each or $25 for three in honor or memory of people who have fought the cancer battle. Names of those honored are written on luminaries, which are placed around the track and lighted.

A sunrise service is planned at 7 a.m. Saturday. Awards will also be presented Saturday in such categories as team and individual who raised the most money, team with the best spirit, best theme, tent decorations, best design for team t-shirts, the Beth Cayton Light Up the Night Award for the team that sells the most luminaries and Pack the Track for the team that enrolls the most cancer survivors.

Following tradition, Bertie County students will be dismissed from school at 1 p.m. on May 13.

For information about Relay for Life or its events, call Parker at 345-2781.