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49 teams expected for Relay for Life

Walkers will make footprints around the track of the Corydon Central High School Athletic Field for about 18 hours starting Friday evening at the annual Harrison County Relay for Life.
The theme for this year’s Relay is ‘Footprints of Freedom.’ It is the county’s fifth year to participate in the Relay, the American Cancer Society’s signature fund-raiser.
County chair Dennis Thomas said 49 teams are expected to participate, representing corporations, clubs, churches, organizations and families.
‘Our 49 teams have truly made this a county-wide event with yard sales, roadblocks and numerous fund-raising events,’ he said.
The Relay begins at 6 p.m. Friday with cancer survivors walking the first lap around the track. For the second lap, they will be joined by caregivers of cancer patients. After that, team members will begin walking laps around the 1/4-mile track.
Relay for Life began in 1985 in Washington state. Since then it was expanded to 3,300 communities in the United States and eight foreign countries. In five years, Relay donations exceeded half a billion dollars.
To date, the American Cancer Society has given about $2.5 billion for cancer research.
‘I’d like to extend a big thank you to the all-volunteer planning committee who has been preparing over the last six months to ensure that this event will be fun, educational and successful,’ Thomas said.
He said he also appreciates the South Harrison Community School Corp.’s donating the use of its facilities and the sponsors who help make it possible for 100 percent of the money raised to go toward cancer research, education, advocacy and patient services initiatives.
Sponsors include Harrison County Hospital, Caesars Indiana and First Harrison Bank, gold; Keller Manufacturing Co. Inc. and Tyson Foods Inc., silver, and O’Charley’s Restaurant & Lounge and Wal-Mart, bronze.
Another aspect of the annual Relay for Life is to increase awareness of cancer and the progress of combating it.
For the first time in Harrison County, the county’s Tobacco Prevention and Cessation organization and the teen-based VOICE group will provide tobacco information and educational material from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday.
Walkers can sign up for the Tell-A-Friend program, which is designed to help increase breast cancer screening and early detection through regular mammograms.
One of the highlights of each Relay event is the Luminary Ceremony. With the arrival of darkness, the track is outlined with candles in small paper sacks in memory of persons who have died of cancer or in honor of cancer survivors. Luminaries can be purchased until 9 p.m. Friday.
The ceremony begins at 9:30 p.m. This year’s guest speaker is Kent Watson of Corydon. Last fall, doctors discovered a large mass on Watson’s heart. He was diagnosed with angiosarcoma.
Watson is a 1981 graduate of Corydon Central High School.
Relay participants will have plenty of other things to do off the track, including the annual auction, which starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Items to be auctioned by Paul Beckort Auction Service include autographed items by Tubby Smith, Rick Pitino, Steve Alford, Paul Hornung, Bob Knight, Klaus Wilmsmeyer and Fuzzy Zoeller, as well as other items, including gift certificates to local attractions.
Other games include an egg toss, hula-hoop contest, euchre tournament, and a cake walk.
Here is a schedule of the activities:
6 p.m. ‘ Cancer survivor lap followed by Caregivers Lap
6:30 p.m. ‘ Auction
7 p.m. ‘ Parade (camp theme)
8 p.m. ‘ Lap theme (1950s), Q-tip darts, three-legged race, hole-in-one contest
8:30 p.m. ‘ Lap theme (‘Kiss Me, I’m Smoke-Free,’ former smokers)
9 p.m. ‘ Lap theme (1960s)
9:30 p.m. ‘ Luminary ceremony, speaker Kent Watson
11 p.m. ‘ Lap theme (1970s), ‘Relay Idol,’ cake walk, potato sack race
11:30 p.m. ‘ Lap theme (‘Wham! Bam! Get Your Mam! 40+ and a Mam’)
Midnight ‘ Lap theme (Hunka, Hunka, Elvis look-alike), hula-hoop contest, lifesaver pass, euchre
12:30 a.m. ‘ Lap theme (‘Your body is fruity-licious,’ 5+ servings of fruit and vegetables)
1 a.m. ‘ Lap theme (Everybody Fiesta, Mexican)
1:30 a.m. ‘ Lap theme (Check your coconuts, Hawaiian)
2 a.m. ‘ Lap theme (Nity-Nite, pj’s and slippers)
9 a.m. ‘ Lap theme (‘Let’s Get Physical,’ Richard Simmons look-alike), egg toss, donut eating contest
9:30 a.m. ‘ Lap theme (Bright Lights, Big Stars!)
10 a.m. ‘ Lap theme (Patriotic)
11 a.m. ‘ Closing ceremony
For more information about Relay for Life, call Thomas at 738-2198.