05/15/05 — Wayne Memorial wins with 'Fired Up for a Cure'

View Archive

Wayne Memorial wins with 'Fired Up for a Cure'

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on May 15, 2005 2:01 AM

Wayne County people were "Racing for a Cure," "Corralling a Cure" and "Helping Build a Cancer-Free Society" at this year's Relay for Life.

Those were some of the themes of the 105 campsites on the Wayne Community College campus.

The competition among relay teams for most unique campsite has grown fiercer each year, with teams trying to outdo one another in flamboyance.

Why do they do it?

Members of Wayne Memorial Hospital's team do it because they want to do "whatever we can to help find a cure for cancer," said Melody Hartman, team captain. "We do have a lot of people who work at the hospital who are cancer survivors or have family or friends that have cancer."

The hospital took first place with its "Fired Up For A Cure" theme. The front of the campsite was built to look like a fire station. To the right was a "brush truck" on loan from Pikeville-Pleasant Grove Volunteer Fire Department. Next to that was a fire hydrant with a fireman's hose attached. There was also a life-sized stuffed Dalmatian, the fireman's mascot. A team member dressed as a Dalmatian and walked around talking to the children.

Ms. Hartman said she came up with this year's theme because her father's been a fireman since she was born and she knew that children love anything to do with a fire department.

Hospital team members said they plan to start planning for next year's campsite in a few months.

"Our team has grown a lot over the past few years and people have become a lot more involved," Ms. Hartman said. "There are a lot of people on this team with a lot of imagination."

The second-place campsite award went to New Hope Friends Sunday School Class with its theme of "Look to HIM for New Hope."

The campsite featured the front of a little white church. On the left was a concrete bench with small concrete stones on the ground containing the names of church members who had died from cancer. On the right was a small white church sign with the name of the church, the date it was established and the pastor's name.

Class member John Mansfield helped build the campsite. He said the class members like to keep their campsite theme a secret until opening night of the relay.

"It's no big deal really, but it's nice to keep a secret and that's half the fun of it," he said. "We have a lot of fun doing the campsite. We do everything ourselves."

Mansfield said the class usually starts soon after the first of the year working on their campsite theme.

"We have a committee that gets together and discusses different themes. We always try to keep a religious theme. We work on a theme and when we come up with an idea, we form some more committees, get our materials and start building the campsite."

Mansfield said the class always has a lot of fun coming up with a campsite design.

"Win or not, it's the money that's raised for a good cause that matters," he said.

"The biggest reason we like to win is that when you win first or second place, you have your choice of campsite spots the next year. That's a big deal."

Garris Chapel Church was third in the campsite competition with its theme of "Whippin' Cancer." Chairman Maria Wiggins said members put together a committee and met twice to put several ideas together.

Some of the team members had a lot of items used in the campsite including a life-size statue of a black horse tied up for the night and even a cozy campfire.

One members was dressed as a cowboy and lassoed passersby.

Ms. Wiggins said the campsite members "have been working out on the prairie all day and we've come back to the campsite and we're whippin' cancer.

"We had a lot of fun doing it."

Ms. Wiggins said the church's team has already started planning next year's campsite.

Fourth place was taken by Cherry Hospital with its theme of "Wild About Cancer."