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Supporters and Survivors from All Around the High Country Gather at WHS Today for Relay for Life

by Madison V. Fisler

June 14, 2013. After months of fundraising, rallying and preparation, this is the day that they have all be waiting for. Thirty-six teams from all around the High Country area have gathered at Watauga High School for a day of support, remembrance and most importantly, fighting back against cancer at Relay for Life. 

DownloadedFile-112Each of the teams participating this year have spent large amounts of time raising funds for the American Cancer Society, supporting each other and raising awareness of the multiple diseases under the cancer umbrella. Beginning at 2 p.m. at Watauga High School, the teams will set out to fight cancer once again. 

The schedule of events for today is as follows:

  • 2:00 p.m. – begin setting up tents at Watauga High School
  • 2:00-5:00 p.m. – Pre-recorded music
  • 3:oo p.m. – until – Activities and fund-raisers are being held at various team tents. There will be food available at concession booths and surrounding areas. 
  • 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Liminaria for sale at the Luminaria Tent, Money may be turned it at the accounting tent
  • 5:00-10:00 p.m. – Relay Store is open
  • 4:00-5:00 p.m. Zumba with Gwen Dhing (Donations accepted for Relay for Life)
  • 5:00-9:00 p.m. – Silent auction opens for bids
  • 5:00-11:00 p.m. – Airwalk, Slide and Climbing Wall open provided by JUMP (closed for opening ceremony, and Luminaria Ceremony)
  • 5:15-5:45 – Appalachian Rhythm Cloggers perform on stage
  • 5:45-6:15 – George’s Band
  • 6:15-6:45 – High Country Cloggers perform on stage
  • 7:00-7:30 – Opening ceremonies on stage, welcome, speaker Paul Young, National Anthem by Maggie Idol, Incovation with Roy Dobyns, FBC, Boone, Color Guard by HCC Military Officers Association of America, Survivor and Caregiver Lap, Survivor Reception following Survivor Lap
  • 7:30-8:00 p.m. – Native Sons Band
  • 8:00-8:30 p.m. – Country Magic Cloggers perform on stage
  • 8:30 p.m.- Caregiver regognition and lap
  • 9:00 p.m. – Georgia Donour Gospel Music
  • 9:00 p.m. – Bidding closes at silent auction. Items must be picked up and paid for between 9:30 and 10:15 p.m.
  • 9:30 p.m. – Luminaria Ceremony narrated by Dr. Dick Jones, Bringing in of the Relay Torch, Memorial Torches lit by family members, Silent Luminaria Lap led by bagpiper Jamie Fish
  • 10:00 p.m. – Team recognition and lap, closing ceremony
  • 10:15 until – Bingo in survivor’s tent, Walk all night, Campout in the field 

The Relay will last all night and into Saturday morning. Relay for Life officially ends on Saturday at 8 a.m. when the teams will begin to clean up and move out with one more successful year of Relay under their belts. 

Relay for Life is a very emotional celebration of life and the willingness to fight for it. 

“I think it is a time for survivors to connect with other survivors and it certainly gives them hope,” said Kathy Idol, co-chair of the Watauga County Relay for Life.

“We have people who have been survivors for 40 years and those who have just been diagnosed. It spreads hope and it is a very emotional time for everyone. It’s hard to explain if you have never experienced it but it is a great time of hope for the people who are there.”

This year, 36 teams are participating in the event. Many of the teams do different types of fundraisers throughout the year, from 5K runs to pancake suppers. All of the money that these teams raise throughout the year is donated to the American Cancer Society to help fight cancer, raise awareness and spread information to those diagnosed and those who support them. 

The teams and team leaders are as follows:

  • Deerfield Dream Team – Jeannie Caviness
  • Jerry’s Intimidators – Mrs Paula y Ward
  • Friends for Life – Kathy Idol 
  • FBC Crusaders – Brian Barker
  • Grace Happens – Robin King 
  • St. Elizabeth’s Archangels – Ellisa Mayes
  • WHS Welders – Turner Trivette
  • Bethel Believers – Irene Woodard
  • BACC Walking with Spirit – Sarah Speed
  • MOAA HCC – Ben Covington
  • Joyce’s Memory Walkers – Deborah Kirksey
  • Rumple Rockers – Jull Hauser
  • Holden’s Heroes – Sonya Winkler
  • Pool of Hope – Faye Oliver
  • Cove Creek Relay Raiders – Cynthia Townsend
  • Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center – Sandra Cassidy
  • Lan’s Lappers – David Gragg
  • Ted’s Troop – Della Presnell
  • Boone Drug Crusaders – Carrie Phillips
  • The C-5′s – Dale Joyner
  • G.R.E.G – Melanie Hollar
  • Parkway Patriots – Jennifer Lacy
  • Mabel Mustangs – Lisa Totherow
  • Brady’s Believers of Valle Crucis – Kathryn Dalton
  • Junaluska Angels – Roberta Jackson
  • Chelsea Fuffaloes of Valle Crucis – Jill Storelli
  • Wag Life – Robert Dimitri
  • Blowing Rock School – Laura Seagle
  • Metamorphosis – Mary Ruble
  • Lights for Louise – Nancy Caudill
  • Watauga Opportunities – Dianne Brown
  • Hardin Park HoPe – Kimberly Shields
  • Green Valley School – Lauren Salisbury
  • Deerfield Ridge Assisted Living – Jen Teague
  • Maurice’s Beauties for Bravery – Tori Cole
  • Watauga County Farm Bureau – Sarah Bryan

Relay for Life is an international effort involving over 4 million people in over 20 countries that strives to raise funds and awareness for cancer research. Run by the American Cancer Society, the event strives to celebrate survivors, remember those who have passed on and fight back against cancer everywhere.

According to the Relay for Life’s website, linked here, the event raises a combined $400 million each year, which is then invested in groundbreaking cancer research and providing free information to cancer patients and their caregivers.