04/22/08 — Relay will add new fun at night

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Relay will add new fun at night

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on April 22, 2008 1:45 PM

This year's Relay for Life event will go on ... all night long.

The annual community-wide effort to battle cancer, which is scheduled for May 16-17 at Wayne Community College usually ends at bedtime, when tents and teams settle down for rest and fellowship.

Not so, this year.

The fun and fundraising will continue around the clock.

Enter-tainment and activities chairman Stephanie McCloud said there will be many new events throughout the night.

"We wanted to bring the event back to the way it used to be, mainly staying up all night and keeping the fun going on," she said. "So I have events planned this year until 3 a.m. Saturday morning. And in between 3 and 7 a.m., there won't be as much activity, but there will be music during that time for those who do want to stay up."

Ms. McCloud said her theory is "cancer never sleeps, so why should we?"

Some of this year's Relay highlights will include:

* A Relay Idol contest will get the event started at 4 p.m. May 16. Participants must be age 14 and older and their acts will be limited to three minutes. There are a limited number of slots, so early registration is encouraged. There is a $10 registration fee. The deadline for entering is May 9.

* Something new will be a team flag lap at 7:30 p.m. The flag must be flown on the official lap by a team member then taken to the judging area by 8 p.m.

The team banner must be between 25 feet by 18 feet and 40 feet by 40 feet and must feature the team name/number.

* The walking will get a little wacky at 8 p.m. with a Red Hat Society hat lap. Members of the Red Hat Society will parade their unusual hats around the track at this time. Anyone who is not a member of the Red Hat Society -- an organization for women 50 and older -- may wear any type of wacky hat during this lap.

* An ACC lap will take place at 10 p.m. Participants are encouraged to wear their favorite sports team's sweatshirt, T-shirt, hat or any other clothing item.

* Racing For A Cure will begin at 11 p.m. Cars must be made out of cardboard and the driver will "wear" his or her vehicle. The driver will have a one-person pit crew.

During the race, the driver will have to stop for a "tire change." Actually, his pit crew will change the driver's lace-up tennis shoe, putting the shoes back on the wrong feet for the finish of the race.

There will also be a fuel stop, where the driver will drink an entire bottle of water and hold the empty bottle above his head to signify completion of fueling.

There is a $10 registration fee. There will be two races and the winning driver and his pit crew will receive a $50 gas card. Also, there will be a $50 gas card for the most creatively decorated car.

* As the midnight hour approaches, the love lap starts. For $1, walkers may choose and dedicate a song to anyone they want and the disc jockey will play it.

* Then there's the Jack-O-Melon contest where participants decorate a watermelon, light it and place it at their campsite to be judged.

* At 1 a.m., walkers will gather on the track for a reverse lap -- in their pajamas.

* For those who are still awake at 2 a.m., there will be a Simon Says competition. The disc jockey will call out simple commands to be done by walkers on the track.

* The flashlight lap will take place at 3 a.m. Walkers will grab their flashlights and walk the track in the dark with flashlights illuminating their way.

* Rooster crow and bedhead contests will be held at 7 a.m. Saturday on the main stage. Participants will have the chance to give their best rooster wake-up crow in front of the audience, then the bedheads -- those whose hair did not quite survive the night -- will parade around the stage.

* Following the morning stretch lap at 8 a.m., the Relay Baby contest gets under way at 9 a.m. Preregistration is required, and there is no entry fee.

Participants will push decorated strollers and pull decorated wagons around the track for this contest.

With alll the new ways to have fun while fighting cancer, Ms. McCloud said she hopes to make this year's Relay the best ever.

"Data has proven that Relay events with a wide variety of activities have higher team and participation rates," she said. "The more fun it is, the more people are going to come."