Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back.
That is what the 900-plus participants of the Orange County Relay for Life will do when the Ninth Annual event is held at Bridge City High School May 2, beginning at 6 p.m.
Some of the participants will celebrate cancer survivorship. Some will remember loved ones who fought a battle against the disease and did not win. All are there to raise money for the American Cancer Society. It is their way to fight back.
More than 70 Orange County teams comprised of adults and children of all ages, from schools, churches, businesses, athletic teams, and/or groups of friends and families are signed up to Relay. Each team, comprised of 8-15 individuals each, will have at least one team member walking the track at all times during the 12 hour event.
The relay’s theme this year is “Super Heroes Conquer Cancer.” It will begin with the opening ceremony at 6:30 p.m. and a survivor celebration at 6:45 p.m.
All individuals who have been diagnosed with any form of the disease are invited to participate in the survivor celebration. It will be followed by a special lap for/with caregivers.
The team relay follows, during which David Teague will provide music. At 7:15 p.m., Carraraba’s will serve dinner to all Relay participants, survivors and caregivers.
The Relay for Life will pause at 9:30 p.m. for a luminary ceremony which is being sponsored in memory of Victoria Enmon. At this time, all teams will also light candle luminaries in honor and memory of others who have also fought the disease. Members of the public may also purchase luminaries at the event.
Some Relay teams will continue to fundraise on site. Tickets will be available for a raffle which features three separate prizes. The grand prize is a Yamaha PW50 dirt bike donated by Golden Triangle Power Sports. Additional prizes are an Echo gas blower donated by Mowers and Tractors, and a dinner for two at Tuffy’s. Relay for Life participant Jamey Grant contacted these companies and requested the donations on behalf of Rely for Life.
Individuals do not need to be present to win.
Games will begin at midnight. These will include a cake walk, karaoke, a bad hair contest, scavenger hunt, a sack race, bingo, fill the cup relay, a frozen t-shirt contest, a Road to Recovery car race, and other games.
Designated laps will feature themes such as crazy hat, crazy pajamas, crazy house shoes, and crazy sunglasses. Prizes will be awarded.
Pizza will be provided at midnight by the Relay Planning Committee & Domino’s Pizza.
Orange Savings Bank is the event underwriter and has been the underwriter since Orange County Relay’s initial year in 2000.
“Orange Savings Bank signed on initially due to our ‘voice’ Becky Grant’s encounter with cancer. Then as the years went by we saw the continuing need for funding research, patient expense and the wonderful support groups. Now the event has become a part of our bank family culture.
“We are all involved in varying levels of participation each year. Relay is on our calendar every year and will remain until there is no longer a need,” Darby Byrd, Chief Executive Officer of Orange Savings Bank, said.
Additional event sponsors are Chevron Phillips, Texas Oncology, Wal-Mart/Orange, Vidor, and Bridge City; and Degussa Engineered Carbons LP.
Relay for Life gates will open at 5:00 p.m. Friday, May 2. Only individuals wearing Relay participant or visitor arm bands will be allowed to enter after 11:00 p.m.
An awards program will be held at 6 a.m. Saturday morning. Awards will be presented for: Best Team T-Shirt, Best Team Campsite, Most Original Theme, Team Spirit of Relay, Individual Spirit of Relay, Leader of the Pack, Cancer Education Award, as well as others.
Already, the Orange County Relay’s on-line goal of raising $15,000 has been surpassed. Teams have raised $65,000 going into the event.
By 6 a.m. Saturday, May 3, Orange County Relay hopes to raise $121,000, and surpass the $115,000 raised last year.
The Orange County Relay Planning Committee has been working on plans for the event since last fall.
Orange County Relay for Life Planning Committee Tri-Chairman Kent Broussard said, “Through the diligent effort and hard work and sacrifice of the entire committee along with the tremendous support of the community the Orange County Relay for Life has become the largest in our area.  We are excited about the affects the growth of our relay will have in the fundraising endeavors of the American Cancer Society to help battle this dreadful disease. The committee is anxiously awaiting next weekend at Larry Ward Stadium in Bridge City.”
Other committee members include Tri- chairs Becky Grant and Kerri Morrell; and Cheryl Dupuy, Gayla Thompson, Beverly Perry, Patricia Lee, Misty Butler, Lorraine Shannon, Stacy and Jason Waldrep, Stavey and Carol Ward, Elizabeth Wernig, Kristi Conn, David Teague, LaVonia Hughes, and Doug Himel.
The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated.
The public is welcome to attend.
For more information, contact Becky Grant at 883-3563 or Jacki Burleson at 835-2139.