Organizers hoping for dry Relay for Life

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Event is tonight at JCTC

The 2014 Shelby County Relay for Life is set for today and organizers say they hope the rain will hold off, though that’s not likely with a 40 percent chance of showers, gusting winds and cooler temperatures.

The forecast is one reason that Sonia Roach, co-chair, said she does not expect too much decoration at the Relay, which is the American Cancer Society’s signature fundraising event.

The event may even have to be moved indoors, she said.

“We will be at the back of JCTC and with the weather that is expected, we may go inside,” she said.

The event will be held from 6 p.m. tonight to 6 a.m. Saturday at Jefferson Community and Technical College. Teamsfrom businesses, clubs, families, friends, hospitals, churches, schools and service organizations will participate, with team members taking turns walking on the track.

Roach said that 23 teams have registered, about the same number as last year.

A survivor’s dinner will take place at 6 p.m. and a survivor’s lap will be held at 7 p.m., followed by a caregiver’s lap.

This year’s theme will be Music Through the Decades, Roach said.

Roach said she doesn’t know what kind of music that D.J. Doug Cottrell has lined up, but she knows it will be great.

“He’s got everything ready to go,” she said.

In addition to food and a parade, Roach said she is looking forward to one of the newest contests, making a dress out of newspapers.

The money raised from this event goes straight to the American Cancer Society, which in turn uses the money raised from Relay for Life events across the country to fund numerous programs. Since its inception in 1985, the Relay for Life has raised more than $4 billion to fund cancer research and support programs. More than 5,000 Relay for Life events take place every year, according to the American Cancer Society’s Web site.

Heidi Gregg, accounting chair for the event, said much of the money raised would go to benefit local people with cancer.

“We’re part of an immediate region [of surrounding counties] and they all have Relays as well, and quite a bit of the money goes to support cancer patients and their families here,” she said. “Like if someone can’t afford a wig that they need, or Chemo or whatever. It also goes to patient transportation, like if they need a ride to and from treatments or doctor’s appointments. So a lot of that just goes directly to patient support, and some of it does go to research. I’m not one hundred percent sure where the dividing line is, but quite a bit of it stays at a local level.”

Gregg said that some money has come in for 2014.

“We’ve already raised $20,000 before Relay this year,” she said. “That’s between the Shelby County Relay pageant that Fit for Life put on and some of the other events. So we’re excited that we’re already at that level, and hopefully we’ll get some more.”