Bertie: Ready to Relay

Published 2:42 pm Thursday, May 14, 2009

AULANDER – The oldest Relay in the region is ready for year number 16.

“It looks like it could be one of our biggest and one of our best,” said Bertie County Relay for Life co-chairman G. Fisher Mitchell. “The money seems to be coming in better than last year thus far and we have more participation than last year.”

Mitchell, Joanne Jordan and Bobbie Parker are the co-chairs of the annual event which will help raise funds to fight cancer during a 24-hour period this weekend.

A total of nearly 100 teams have signed up for the event, almost half of which come from Perdue Farms which is located in Bertie County between Lewiston Woodville and Kelford.

“Perdue is very actively involved and is our biggest supporter in the county,” Mitchell said.

Thus far, the county has raised more money for cancer research than they had a year ago at this time, something that excites the chairmen.

“People are really excited even though it is coming during tough economic times,” Mitchell said. “People are getting involved and participating. I believe it will be one of our best events.”

The event is slated to begin at 6 p.m. Friday evening at the Aulander Fitness Track, the second year the event has been held in the northwestern Bertie County town.

This year’s setup is slated to start at 12 noon and continue through 5 p.m. with the opening ceremony’s slated for 6 p.m. During that ceremony, the event chairs will speak and then Robin Bland will perform the national anthem. Dr. Pam Lapera and William G. Bazemore will be the speakers.

After the ceremony, the traditional survivor lap will kick off the event. During that lap, all cancer survivors are encouraged to take one lap around the track. After the survivor lap, there will be a caregiver lap where all caregivers take the spotlight. The next lap will see teams on the track.

The entertainment begins at 8 p.m. with New Creation. Entertainment will continue at 9:45 p.m. when Moonshine takes the state. At 11 p.m. B&E DJ Services will take over music for the entire event.

One of the most anticipated events of the evening will happen at 9 p.m. Friday when the Luminary Ceremony is scheduled. All activities stop while the ceremony takes place that honors those battling cancer and those who have already succumbed to the disease.

The theme laps begin at 11 p.m. Friday evening with “Take Me Out to the Movies” – where relayers are encouraged to dress up as movie characters from 1984.

The next theme lap begins at midnight and is “Thriller” when those in attendance are encouraged to dress as a character from Michael Jackson’s video “Thriller” including as a ghost or goblin or as Jackson himself.

Other theme laps include Family Time (choose a TV program popular in 1984) at 1 a.m.; Saturday Morning Cartoons (choose a cartoon that was popular in 1984) at 2 a.m.; Tack Tourist lap (dress the part of the tackiest tourist you’ve ever seen) at 3 a.m.; No Walking Allowed (skip, jump rope, hop, jog, tip toe or glide; no skate boards or roller skates) at 4 am.; Hammer Time (dance the night away with various dances from years past) at 5 a.m.; and Good morning relay (wake everyone up with noise makers such as horns, pots, whistles, etc) at 6 a.m.

Line dancing will take place in front of the stage at 12:45 a.m., 1:45 a.m., 2:45 a.m., 3:45 a.m., 4:45 a.m., 5:45 a.m. and 6:45 a.m.

A sunrise service is slated for 7:30 a.m. followed by breakfast provided by Sara Lee and Maola at 8 a.m.

The kids walk registration begins at 9 a.m. followed by the kids walk (they will be introduced and take the first lap together) from 10 a.m. until 12 noon.

At 12 noon, Little Miss Relay and Little Mister Relay will be crowned.

Closing ceremonies are set for 1:30 p.m.

The Bertie County Relay for Life is sponsored by:

Platinum Level – Perdue Farms;

Diamond Level – Bertie Ambulance Service, Bertie County Rural Health Associates and University Health Systems/Bertie Memorial Hospital;

Gold Level – Cedar Landing Missionary Baptist Church, Center Grove Baptist Church, Coastal Medical Transport, Connaritsa Baptist Church, Dr. Horace Ward Jr., in memory of Geraldine B. Bryant, Merry Hill Baptist Church, Riverside Baptist Church, Sandy Branch Baptist Church, Town of Windsor, White Oak Medical Transport and W.R. White Inc.

There are a number of silver level and bronze level sponsors as well.