Relay gets rockin'

Published 8:39 am Wednesday, August 29, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
The Atmore Relay for Life plans are officially underway for April.
The Relay kick-off event was held last Thursday where individuals got to experience ethnic foods, socialize and listen to guest speaker Diane Boatwright.
The theme for the 2008 Relay for Life is "cancer has no borders – searching the world for a cure" and each team is encouraged to be creative with their Relay tents this year.
"Each team will pick a country," Relay for Life co-chair Deborah Camp said. "The people at that site can dress up for their country. We are encouraging teams to choose a country that has Relay for Life in it. Thirty countries have Relay for Life."
Camp said, as of last Thursday, Mexico, Germany, Ireland, Greece and Switzerland were already taken, but it is OK if some countries are used more than once because of the different things individuals can do with the "cancer has no borders" theme.
Other than learning the logistics of Relay, Boatwright was an inspirational speaker for potential team members.
"I hope that all of you learn something and feel good about volunteering for Relay for Life," Boatwright said.
Boatwright had a demonstration of how cancer does not pick and choose who it will strike, it can bite anyone at any time. She had her helper, Matthew Ray, pass out pencils. Some pencils were normal yellow pencils and some were colorful. Individuals with colored pencils were asked to leave their seats and stand in the back of the room. The people with the colored pencils were chosen at random, which is how cancer works, Boatwright said.
"That's what cancer does," she said. "It takes young, elderly, it doesn't care who it strikes. It doesn't care if you've already had cancer in your family because it will do it again."
Boatwright said that those helping with Relay were there because they know what cancer does and they care about finding a cure for the deadly disease.
"You've had cancer happen to you in some way and you care," she said.
Boatwright's husband, Thomas, was diagnosed with cancer Feb. 6, 1996. He lived for five years after he was diagnosed.
"We were so blessed because he lived for five years," she said. "Cancer is such a massive, devastating thing that it takes your breath away. Cancer is here to stay. It's here to make empty chairs where warm bodies used to be. But, it is? Yes, things can change."
Boatwright said that with young men and women not knowing the devastating effects of cancer things can be different for future generations.
"New generations don't know that cancer can't be beat," she said. "They will come up with treatment ideas. It can and it will be a thing of the past. We have to keep on with the search. Today we will make a difference, tomorrow they will make a difference. Today there is an empty chair, but tomorrow it will be a full room."
After Boatwright spoke, there was a raffle in which Andrea Saucer went home with a rocking chair donated by United Bank.
Other prizes included, a $25 gift card donated by First National Bank and Trust, Relay for Life car tags, a First National Bank and Trust lunch bag, a Relay for Life hat and Relay for Life purple bags.
There are several individuals assisting with Relay for Life this year including, event co-chair and fundraising development, Becky Ganey; event co-chair and event development, Deborah Camp sponsorship chair, Walt Butler; luminaria chair, Kitty Day; accounting chair, Angela Boatwright; survivorship development chair, Cindy Lee; memorial chair, Wanda Hall; ceremonies chair, Adrienne McKenzie; activities chair, Edie Jackson; mission delivery chair, Pat Eddins; logistics chair, Cereal Daniels; entertainment chair, Amy Akins; honorary chair, Susan Bethea and publicity chairs, Sherry Digmon, Myrna Monroe and Adam Prestridge. Open chairs include, team development and online. There is also a sub-committee, which will include four local teenagers.
The next team captain meeting will be Sept. 20 at Brooks Memorial Chapel. Visit to register your team before the next team captain meeting to be eligible for a prize drawing.
Captains, be sure to wear purple to the team captain meetings to win Relay bucks for your team.

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