By GAIL PARSONS
Relay for Life is set and ready to go for its annual 12-hour overnight event. Teams will be out at Eisenhower Park from 5 p.m. Saturday through 5 a.m. Sunday bringing awareness; raising money; honoring the memory of those who have passed from cancer; and honoring survivors, their ones, and caregivers.
The public is invited to join the teams for an evening of games, music, food and a silent auction. Organizer Debbie Lytle said attendees are not in any way obligated to spend the night or even participate in the laps.
“Come on out and enjoy the music, good friends, good conversation,” she said.
There have been numerous snags with fundraisers this year, Lytle said. The eight teams, in comparison to last year’s 11, has translated into less dollars being raised than the initial goal. However, the $25,000 that has been raised so far “is nothing to sneeze at,” she said. “It has been a lot harder this year.”
The duck race was rained out, a bike ride ended up competing with similar rides on the same day and the day they scheduled a softball tournament turned out to be the same day of another tournament. Registration for participants begins at 4 p.m. Saturday with the opening beginning at 5 p.m. A survivor lap followed by a lap during which caregivers and loved ones are invited to join the survivors on the track.
“Then the carnival games open up and food booths open up and we’ll have a good party,” Lytle said.
At dusk there will be a luminary ceremony and a silent candle-lit lap. A silent auction that features a basketball signed by the KU Basketball team, a football signed by Bill Snyder, a handmade baby quilt, themed baskets from each team, and more will open at 4 p.m. and end at 11 p.m.