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July 23, 2014

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The survivors’ lap takes place at an earlier Relay For Life in Watauga County. File photo by Sherrie Norris

Originally published: 2013-06-13 08:57:14
Last modified: 2013-06-13 08:57:59

Relay For Life kicks off Friday

One of the most action packed, if not the most emotionally charged area events of the year, takes place this weekend in Boone.

While numerous preliminary fundraisers and celebrations have been held in recent weeks leading up to the main event, the Watauga County Relay For Life will officially start taking shape at 2 p.m. on Friday, June 14, as members of this year’s 36 participating teams begin setting up their tents along the track at Watauga High School.

According to Relay co-chairwoman Kathy Idol, nearly 400 team members, along with hundreds of their family members and friends, are expected to gather in one accord this weekend to walk the track in their fight against cancer, to show their support for cancer survivors and to remember those whose battles were lost to the devastating disease.

With a local fundraising goal of $138,000 for the signature event of the American Cancer Society, those behind the scenes who work year-round for the effort expect the 2013 Relay For Life to be one of the most successful in recent years.

The football field at WHS will once again take on a festive atmosphere Friday as Relay For Life makes its presence known.

From 3 to 5 p.m., prerecorded music will fill the air as various activities kick off and individual teams set up shop for continued fundraising.

Concession booths will open in the afternoon and provide food and drink throughout the evening.

The annual luminaria sale will continue from 3 to 7 p.m. to allow extra time for the community to purchase candles and torches to honor or memorialize loved ones with cancer.
From 5 until 10 p.m., the Relay Store will be open for this year’s souvenir purchases.

The energy literally begins to strengthen at 4 p.m. with an hour of Zumba led by Gwen Dhing, during which donations will be accepted toward the event’s fundraising goal.

From 5 to 9 p.m., the ever popular silent auction will be open for bids on a large selection of items.
Also beginning at 5 p.m. and continuing through 11 p.m. (with brief closures at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.), the inflatable air walk, slide and climbing wall for children will be open, provided by JUMP.

From 5:15 to 5:45 p.m., Appalachian Rhythm Cloggers will perform on the main stage.

Beginning at 6 p.m., the survivor registration and gathering begins at the survivor tent. Free T-shirts will be available for those unable to attend the recent survivor’s dinner.

From 6:15 to 6:45 p.m., the High Country Cloggers will take the stage, followed by opening ceremonies with welcoming remarks by Relay co-chairwoman and c0-chairman Kathy Idol and Brian Barker. Special guest speaker will be Paul Young, with the national anthem sung by Maggie Idol and invocation by the Rev. Roy Dobyns, pastor of First Baptist Church of Boone.

All other activity will respectfully cease for the survivor and caregiver lap, which will be led by the color guard of the High Country Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, and cheered on by those surrounding the track.

A survivor reception will immediately follow.

From 7:30 to 8 p.m., more live entertainment continues with the Native Sons Band, followed from 8 to 8:30 p.m. by Country Magic Cloggers.

At 8:30 p.m., caregivers will be recognized as they take their lap, followed at 9 p.m. with gospel music by Georgia Donour.

The luminaria ceremony will begin at 9:30 p.m. Dick Jones will serve as narrator as the Relay torch is brought in and family members light memorial torches; the silent luminaria lap will be led by bagpiper, Jamie Fish.

At 10 p.m., the team recognition and lap will precede the closing ceremony. Those who are camping overnight and wish to continue walking the track may do so.
Tracy Brown will serve as emcee for the event, with George Wilson providing the sound equipment.

At 8 a.m. on Saturday, the 2013 Relay For Life in Watauga County will be declared officially over and the clean up begins.

For more information and stories, see The Blowing Rocket.

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