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Bertie Relay begins Friday

AULANDER – It’s that time of year again.

Dozens of volunteers in Bertie County are preparing for the annual Relay for Life, which underwent a change of venue this year and will be located on the Fitness Trail in Aulander, adjacent to the old Aulander High School.

Campsite setup begins at 2 p.m. Friday (May 16), with survivor registration starting at 4 p.m.

Opening ceremonies will commence at 6 p.m., including the ceremonial lap by cancer survivors.

Relay for Life, which is the major annual fundraiser benefiting the American Cancer Society, has been conducted in Bertie County for the last 15 years.

This year’s goal is to raise $155,000, which will assist in cancer research and education.

Last year, Bertie County Relay fell just short of meeting that same goal, but co-chair Joanne Jordan hopes this year will be an improvement.

So far, Jordan says 25-30 teams have registered, but it’s not too late for individuals wishing to participate to do so.

&uot;Please come join Relay; setup starts at 2 p.m. Friday and it lasts throughout the night and all Saturday morning.

Anyone can come even if they’re not part of a team… volunteers are always needed, even if somebody just wants to find out what it’s all about,&uot; Jordan stated.

She continued, &uot;Honoring (cancer) survivors is what it’s all about to me.

We might think 24 hours for Relay is a lot, but they go through living with cancer 24 hours a day, seven days a week for months or years.

This is how we can show them our respect.&uot;

At 10 p.m. Friday, there is also to be a &uot;caregiver lap&uot; which will honor those who provide care to the cancer survivors.

&uot;That is to honor those special people because the survivors wouldn’t get the care they needed without them.

It’s to let them know that they’re special, also,&uot; Jordan noted.

Survivors are asked to come Friday at least by 5:30 p.m. to let Relay workers know they are there, even if they have already pre-registered.

Many fun activities are lined up for the night, including musical entertainment by DJ’s, bands, choirs and individuals, as well as a scavenger hunt, T-shirt modeling and other fun contests.

This year, something unique is being conducted in the county and citizens will have the opportunity to sign up Friday night.

A special cancer research project known as CPS-3 (Cancer Prevention Study-3) is being conducted in Bertie County.

Any residents, ages 30-65, who have never had cancer are eligible to participate.

The study will follow the lives of those involved for a 20-year period, with the goal of determining which lifestyles are likely to cause cancer later in life.

Bertie is the only county in northeastern North Carolina to be chosen for the study and one of just four in the state.

&uot;It’s a real honor for us to be chosen for this study and a great opportunity for those who can to help in the fight against cancer by participating… anybody who is eligible can show up to sign up,&uot; Jordan stated.

Registration for the CPS-3 study begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday and lasts until 9:30.

Relay will officially end Saturday at 1 p.m. with the closing ceremony.

For more information on Bertie Relay, call Jordan at the Bertie County Health Department at (252) 794-5322.