Long County officially kicked off its 2012 Relay for Life campaign Thursday at Celebration Castle. This year, the committee added Christmas luminaries to the lineup of ways participants and supporters can honor loved ones who’ve battled cancer.
“This year, we are offering these special holiday luminaries and if people get them ordered in time, we will send a special acknowledgement card to the honoree or to the family of someone who is being remembered,” American Heart Association Relay for Life spokeswoman Sharon Proudfoot said. “We’re hoping to increase the luminary sales and also provide a way to recognize friends and loved ones during the holidays, but they have to be ordered and paid for by Dec. 16.”
The 2012 Long County relay is set for April 6-7 on Veterans Field. This year’s 1950s-inspired theme is “Relay is the Word.” Christie Wingate and Lynn Simmons are co-chairing the committee, and Altamaha Federal Credit Union is the presenting partner.
According to Proudfoot, Long County Relay for Life raised approximately $35,000 last year and included 60 registered survivors and 19 teams. Since 2006, the county has raised more than $205,000 to fight cancer, she said. The committee’s goal for 2012 is $38,100 and 21 teams, Wingate said.
In addition to offering Christmas luminaries this year, Proudfoot said hour-by-hour text message updates will be available during the relay. During the relay’s planning stages, Gold Record Awards will be distributed at each team rally for different criteria.
Everyone who stopped by Thursday’s kickoff created special luminary bags to honor or remember cancer victims. As attendees worked on their luminaries, Cynthia Alexander presented a video on caregivers. Afterward, the attendees placed battery-powered candles in their luminaries and observed a moment of silence to remember cancer victims.
Before the evening ended, participants enjoyed dinner, and door prizes, such as hats, blankets, tote bags, candy, photo albums and calendars, were given out. Before heading home, attendees made and enjoyed a popular 1950s-inspired treat, root beer floats.
For more information on Relay for Life participation or to buy a Christmas luminary, call Wingate at 545-3257 or 545-9111.