Relay teams gear up for Bank Night

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, May 2, 2012

After a year of competition, the teams and participants of Pike County’s Relay for Life are ready to come together for one last night of fund-raising and community.

Relay for Life will begin on Friday, May 4, at the Troy Sportsplex, signaling the end of a year of fund-raising for cancer research that so far has raised more than $47,000 and brought 35 teams and 197 participants together.

Currently, the leading fund-raising team for Relay is the FestiGals, led by Linda Linton, who sit at $15,565, followed by KW Plastics with $10,513 and SAHRA Doctors with $2,740.

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The various teams, made up of Pike County businesses, churches, schools and community organizations, will set up tents at the Relay and take part in activities such as survivor walks and the lighting of the luminaries.

“I like how when we all get together at the actual Relay everyone puts competition aside and just focuses on raising that last bit of money,” Britt Dickey, team leader of the SAHRA Doctors team, said. “We spend the whole year competing, but when the time finally comes we all start to see what it’s all about.”

While many of the major fund-raising events, such as the Cocktails for a Cure Banquet held by the FestiGals team or the beauty pageant held by SAHRA, have already passed, the participants of Relay for Life still have a few ways left to raise money.

SAHRA will be holding several raffles leading up to the closing ceremony on Relay night, including a drawing for $1800 that will be put toward the vacation or trip of the winner’s choice and several smaller raffles for birdhouses and stained glass items.

There will also be an event titled Bank Night on Thursday, May 3, at the Regions Bank downtown branch where donations will be collected, team T-shirts will be handed out and team captain gifts will be awarded.

Bank Night serves as a chance for teams to bring in their money raised for a final count that will be tallied for the awards given out at the closing ceremony for the relay.

“Bank Night is where the majority of our money will be collected,” Relay for Life Chairman Charla Davenport said. “For the most part, this is when most of our money from the teams gets turned in and after the whole Relay is over we can get the final count in and give the awards.”

Though Bank Night serves as a time for the teams to turn in any money they’ve collected, it is also open to anyone who wishes to make donations, even if they are not part of a registered team.

But above the competition, the main purpose of Relay night is community, when people from all over Pike County can come together to raise cancer awareness and celebrate cancer survivors.

“We always have a good turnout and it’s a good way to get employees together and meet the community,” Dickey said. “It’s important to remember what it’s all about. It’s not about competition, but raising money for cancer research and recognizing survivors.”

The official opening ceremony for Relay for Life will be held at 6 p.m. at the Troy Sportsplex on Friday night, while Bank Night will begin at 5 p.m. at the Regions Bank on the downtown square in Troy.