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Northampton Relay to use athletic theme

JACKSON – The seventh annual Northampton County Relay for Life will be held on Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20.

“It’s Game Time, Let’s Beat Cancer” is this year’s athletic-focused theme. Citizens are encouraged to display their favorite team flag on their vehicles during the event in support of this year’s theme.

The American Cancer Society sponsors the yearly fundraiser where participants walk continuously around a track to signify that cancer never sleeps and neither does the fight against it. The Relay for Life event also takes time to honor cancer survivors and family caregivers while remembering loved ones who have already passed on.

The 2018 Relay in Northampton County will be held once again at the Cultural and Wellness Center, located at 9536 Hwy 305, Jackson. Campsite set-up begins at 12 noon on Friday and the opening ceremonies will officially kick-off the event at 6 p.m.

Jaime B. Mason will serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies throughout the evening. County Manager Kimberly Turner and Relay’s Mission/Advocacy Lead Devona Peterson are scheduled to briefly speaking during the opening ceremonies. Anointed Voices of Praise will perform a song which will be followed by a special presentation from the Concrete Rose Dance Academy.

The first lap around the Wellness Center’s walking trail will be for cancer survivors while everyone in attendance cheers them on. This will be followed by the caregiver’s lap before the track is opened up to all the teams for the “Relay Strut Your Stuff Parade.”

Teams are made up of individuals from local churches, civic groups, and other organizations. Together they work to raise money throughout the year before the final push at Relay for Life. A total of 33 teams have signed up for this year’s event.

A variety of entertainers will take the stage from 7-9 p.m. on Friday. Singers, dancers, and local bands will provide fun and emotional performances for those in attendance. Those scheduled to perform include Johnny Ruffin, Covenant, Young at Heart Praise Dancers, Step to Glory, Wellness Center Finest, and Train Wrecked.

The Survivor’s Tent will also host bingo beginning at 7 p.m.

Once the sun sets, things start to slow down at 9 p.m. when a moment of silence will be held in remembrance of lost loved ones. The Luminaria ceremony will begin shortly afterwards. Speakers will share testimonies about their experiences with cancer, either as a survivor or a caregiver.

Musical entertainment and activities resume at 9:30 p.m. and continue through midnight. Raffle drawings are scheduled to occur periodically throughout the evening. Participants can enter the raffle through collecting straws after each lap completed around the track.

Saturday morning’s events kick off at 8 a.m. with a morning devotion to support active military personnel and veterans. Registration for the motorcycle ride, which includes a $20 donation, will also begin at the same time.

The motorcycle riders will pull out of the parking lot at 9 a.m., but attendees remaining at the Wellness Center can view the car/truck show and enjoy the dance performances and activities that run through 11 a.m.

The closing ceremony will then wrap things up with award recognitions and a Victory Lap.

Event organizer Laquitta Green-Cooper reported to the Board of Commissioners earlier this year that participants have raised over $310,000 during the past six years of the Relay fundraiser. This year’s goal is to add another $50,000 to that total.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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