Orange County Relay for Life set to rock around the clock
Lorraine Shannon

The Orange County Relay for Life will hold a kick-off event Thursday, January 15 for “Rocking Around the Jukebox! ‘One Fine Day…..We’ll Find a Cure.’”

Plans will be presented and information shared regarding the 10th Annual Orange County Relay for Life, an American Cancer

Society signature event, which is scheduled for Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2 at the Bridge City High School Football Stadium.

The Little Cypress Junior High Relay for Life team “Spirit Cubs for a Cure” is one of many teams which is planning to participate in this year’s Relay for Life. They have been participating for five years.

The team is captained by Cathy Kimbrow and Stephanie Lyons, both English Language Arts teachers at LCJH.

The Spirit Cubs for a Cure Team is composed of a diverse group of students.

“All kinds of kids who want to be involved have a place-the only requirement is that students care about serving others. After Victoria Enmon received her diagnosis in sixth grade, LCJH students wanted to be involved with helping to find a cure. Victoria ‘s family was able to involve several students as well as the LCJH student council, but there were so many more who wanted to be involved.

Our group decided to get involved in sharing the new-found awareness of the disease and participate in building hope for the victims, their families, and each other that a cure is on the way,” Cathy Kimbrough said.

Typically, approximately 50 students, all 6th grade through 8th grade, participate –resulting in four to five Spirit Cub teams.

The team initially focuses on raising the funds to participate.

“During Relay the focus shifts and once the luminary ceremony happens the students are in awe that they are part of something that is so much bigger than they ever imagined. After the event it is all about making sure they will have a chance to participate again.

They realize that Relay is one of those opportunities that they have to share equal ground with the grownups in the world. The dollars they raise are just as useful and just as wanted. They leave the event exhausted, but they leave with the awareness they have made a difference; I know that they are forever different than they were just 12 hours before. It is a beautiful kind of difference,” Kimbrough said.

Kimbrough and Lyons have built their teams by gathering students who are interested in being a captain to attend the kick-off meeting.
“We then let that group plant the Relay seed at the next Spirit Cubs meeting and then watch it grow. We do a bulletin board using Relay for Life materials, a series of announcements, and give lots of Relay for Life promotional items at the meetings as door-prizes,” Kimbrough said.

For individuals considering starting a new team, Kimbrough said, “The best thing to do is to jump in and get it done. I have learned every year comes with its own challenges, and every year that we have attended it has been an ultra personal experience for at least one student who has just come to terms with the loss, treatment, or diagnosis of cancer in a loved one’s life.

 “Cancer has no income, age, or gender requirements; all of us have a personal stake. Once we mobilize a personal connection to the issue, the rest is easy. The best advice is to use what we all have inside ourselves—HOPE,” she said.

Relay For Life offers everyone in the community an opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer. The Orange Country Relay is 12 hours. It will begin Friday evening May 1 at 6:30 p.m. and last until Saturday morning, May 2 at 6:30 a.m.

It allows a community to grieve for those lost to cancer and to celebrate the lives of those who have survived.

Relay teams are generally comprised of eight to 15 members. Each team member is required to raise at least $100. Teams may fundraiser individually or as teams.

Last year, Orange County Relay for Life teams raised more than $170,000. Collectively, Orange County Relay events they have raised more than $720,000 to help Orange County cancer patients.

2008 Orange County Event Chairpersons are Becky Grant and Kerri Morrell.

Captains/Individuals may sign up Relay for Life teams or gather information about how to build a Relay team for the event at the Relay Kick-off Thursday, Jan. 15. It will begin at 6 p.m. at the Entergy Building , on Strickland Drive in Pinehurst. 

 All interested individuals are invited to attend. 50’s attire is welcome although not required.

For more information contact Becky Grant at nana4343@sbcglobal.net; Kerri Morrell at kmorrell@esc5.net; or Jacki Burleson at 835-2139. Teams may also register online at www.orangecountyrelay.org.