05/02/10 — May is declared Relay Month

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May is declared Relay Month

By Dennis Hill
Published in News on May 2, 2010 1:50 AM

May has been declared Relay for Life Month by the Goldsboro City Council and organizers are hoping that the Wayne County Board of Commissioners will do the same when they are asked Tuesday.

The relay, one of the year's most anticipated events, will be held May 21-22 at Wayne Community College.

Organizers said that there will be 118 teams this year. Thirty-four new teams have formed and will participate, said Brenda Robinson, one of the co-chairmen of the event.

Interest in the event has been building for months, she said, and supporters are being urged to do even more to raise the level of excitement.

On Friday, May 7, supporters are being asked to wear their relay T-shirts. It doesn't matter whether it is from last year or 10 years ago, said another co-chairman, Debbie Pennell. Just wearing the shirt "will show where your heart is," she said.

Friday, May 14, has been declared "Purple Day," and supporters are being asked to wear either purple clothing or a purple bow that day. Purple is the Relay for Life's symbolic color.

"Everything is falling into place," Robinson said of the plans for the event, which will start with at 6 p.m. on Friday and last through midday Saturday.

The goal of the relay this year is to raise $650,000 for cancer research, she said. Organizers know the poor economy will pose a significant hurdle, but remain confident they can hit it.

Wayne is known nationally for its Relay for Life. The county is the top rated relay county in the entire state and is ranked in the top 10 counties nationally. Organizers from other states want to know what it is that drives Wayne's event, Robinson said.

"We have a wonderful county behind us," she said. "They show us every year how much the relay means to them."

Even if they don't, the relay is about more than the money raised, Pennell said. It's about the fellowship that comes when people join together for a cause they believe in.

"Yes, we raise a lot of money," she said. "But it's more of a celebration, a celebration of the ones we have lost, of the ones we still have, and to keep on fighting."