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Relay for Life campaign kicks off this week

Managing Editor

Featuring men in dresses, numerous volunteers who want to help raise money for charity and a whole lot of walking, this year’s Relay for Life is about to kick off the year 2000.

Pike County Relay for Life will hold its "Kickoff 2000" event Tuesday, Jan. 18, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Park Memorial Methodist Church in Troy.

Those who are interested in participating in this year’s Relay for Life are encouraged to attend the event where team packets, calendars, a sack supper and information on this year’s Relay for Life will be available.

The program is an informal, "Come and Go" event where team captains and other potential participants are encouraged to attend to gather information, said Lynn Stone, co-chairman of the event.

"This is a place where we will make information available, provide everyone with a sack supper and other items to kickoff this year’s Relay for Life walk to benefit the American Cancer Society."

Relay for Life Chairman Nedetria Talbot said Tuesday night’s kickoff will be informal and will not consist of a special program.

"This is a come-and-go event where people can gather together, get their team information, eat supper and leave at their convenience," Talbot said. "Anyone can drop by between 5 and 7 p.m. to help kick this year’s Relay off."

The Pike County Relay for Life is scheduled for May 19-20 at Troy State University’s band practice field and will feature some changes from last year, including a womanless beauty review.

"There are a few new and exciting things we are doing this year," Stone said. "We want it to be a lot of fun and to be of maximum benefit for the American Cancer Society."

The pageant called the Miss Dude Relay Pageant, promises to be a lot of fun this year.

"We are asking that one male member from each team participate," Stone said. "It will be a lot of fun."

Talbot said this year will also feature sponsors and teams, with sponsors getting recognition for their contributions.

"A sponsor doesn’t have to be a team," Talbot said. "Those who wish to contribute may do so and we will recognize them through signs and banners without having a team. We will also recognize teams through signs and banners as well. The point is a team can be a sponsor and or a sponsor can choose not to have a team. We want to allow everyone the chance to contribute to the event through participation or through donations."

The 24-hour Relay for Life features team members walking the TSU track for 24 hours in order to raise money for and awareness of cancer, one of the leading killers of Americans.

Last year, Pike County raised $120,396, and this year, Talbot said, hopes are to beat last year’s mark.

"We are shooting for $125,000," she said. "We will need everyone to come and be a part of this fun event to do that."

After Tuesday night’s event, the next step will be the registration portion of the May Relay. Registration is scheduled for March.

For its efforts last year, Pike County was named fourth in the nation for all communities between 25,000 and 29,999 people.

"Last year was spectacular," Stone said. "But now its time for us to uphold our tradition and beat the numbers we had. We need to move strongly into this century with our continued hard work."

Stone said Tuesday night’s kickoff is open to the public and encouraged all team captains and other interested participants to come and learn more about Relay for Life.

"It’s a great program for a great cause and we want everyone to show his or her support," she said.

For more information about the 2000 Relay for Life, call Talbot at 735-2759 or team recruitment chairman Mary Williams at 566-5083.