05/19/06 — Teams get campsites ready for Relay debut

View Archive

Teams get campsites ready for Relay debut

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on May 19, 2006 1:49 PM

Just after 8:30 this morning, smoke was already billowing out of a cooker on the Wayne Community College campus.

A half-hour later, Jim Daughtry opened the lid and he and his teammates threw a pig in the center of the grill, so as not to disturb the sausages that had been cooking since they arrived.

Relay for Life fundraisers have been going on for months now, but this morning, the annual event kicked into overdrive as dozens of teams began setting up their campsites in preparation for today's festivities. Many teams will sell food and other items at their sites this afternoon and evening in a last effort to raise money for cancer research.

Relay Setup

News-Argus/Mitch Loeber

Kevin Konig and Les Singleton piece together materials for the Wayne Memorial Hospital Relay for Life Team's Wishing for a Cancer Free Kingdom campsite in preparation for Relay for Life at Wayne Community College this morning. The relay teams at the event raise money for cancer research and support programs.

Just past 9 a.m., Daughtry and others from the First Pentecostal Holiness Church site lined up for breakfast -- bread and sausage. It's a good way to curb the hunger that builds while the pig they are selling tonight slow-cooks, they said.

"It'll take about seven hours for it to be done," Daughtry said, adding the windy conditions might add time to the estimate. "The wind is going to hold me back about 30 to 40 degrees. You'd be surprised."

The wind was setting others back too -- across the lawn, tents were going up one minute, and crashing the next.

The Woods Chapel Relayers weren't having any problems, though. Larry Walls said their construction was moving along well. He and teammates were preparing for a relaxing afternoon -- at least until dinner.

"We're doing a fish-fry and grilled chicken dinners," team captain Jackie Spruill said. "And the pig feet."

Mrs. Spruill said this is the team's sixth year at Relay. And preparing dinner for all the people expected to attend the day's events is a far cry from where they were six years ago.

"We didn't sell anything our first year," she said. "We were just learning the ropes."

As the Woods Chapel team continued construction, a castle was going up across the lawn. Wayne Memorial Hospital team captain Melody Hartman said it all started with an 8-by-10 print out of some clip art.

Six weeks of construction later, team member Ronald Parrish had built an elaborate castle. Mrs. Hartman said she was pleasantly surprised.

"When I saw it done, I didn't know what to say," she said, adding the children who attend Relay will have a great place to visit thanks to Parrish.

"We always try to do something for the children," Mrs. Hartman said. "We're going to be selling Mickey Mouse ears and doing face-painting. If the kids will enjoy it, they'll draw the parents in."

And bringing people out is what the countless hours, long nights and early mornings are all about, she said. For the Wayne Memorial team, it's also a tribute to the cancer fighters and survivors they see at the hospital -- and on their team.