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May 20, 2013

Relay for Life set for next week

NEW CASTLE — New Castle’s Relay for Life will kick off at 7 p.m. May 31 on the track at Shenango High School’s Glen “Pop” Johnston Stadium.

Relay for Life is an organized, overnight fundraising walk for the American Cancer Society. Teams of people camp out around a track, with one member of each team taking a turn walking around the track for the duration of the event. There also are food, games and other activities.

As of Saturday, 56 teams and 605 participants had raised $105,432 for the event.

This year’s Relay will begin with opening ceremonies and the traditional survivors lap. A survivors’ reception will follow, with local author and cancer survivor Kim McCormick speaking.

The reception will include pizza from Augustine’s and ice cream from King’s Restaurant.

The Relay will mark an important milestone in the American Cancer Society’s history, according to Ernie Copper, income development representative of the Lawrence County unit.

“The American Cancer Society will celebrate its 100th birthday tomorrow,” Copper said. “Among its most notable achievements in the last 100 years are that two out of three people diagnosed with cancer today are surviving for at least five years. In fact, more than 400 people a day are celebrating birthdays that would otherwise be lost to the disease.

“The society also has contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since the early 1990s. That translates into 1.2 million lives during that time. The work of the society also has helped lead to a 50 percent drop in smoking since the 1960s, which has contributed to a drop in overall lung cancer death rates,” Copper said.

Another Relay for Life tradition is the luminaria ceremony, which will begin around 9:15 p.m. May 31. The ceremony remembers those lost to cancer and celebrates those winning the battle against the disease.

Hundreds of while luminaria bags, each featuring the glow of a small candle, will line the track.

Fireworks by Pyrotecnico will follow the luminaria ceremony, along with a special performance by Rocket to the Stars.

Activities, food sales and fundraising events will take place all night May 31 and all day June 1. That includes a 2 a.m. ice cream bar with ice cream by Mandy Sue’s.

June 1 performers will include magician T.J. Hill at 4 p.m., who will be followed by closing ceremonies at 5.

Relay for Life is free and open to the public. For more information or to register as a survivor, call the local American Cancer Society office at (724) 654-5577.

The complete schedule of events follows.

May 31

5 p.m. - Tent area and RV parking lot open, food and on-site fundraising booths set-up, luminaria sales open, survivor registration begins.

6 p.m. - Entertainment and accounting tents, mission and advocacy table open

6:45 p.m. - All participants begin lining the track.

7 p.m. - Opening ceremony, survivors victory parade, team banner lap and judging, survivors reception immediately following

7:45 p.m. - Specialty laps begin, one every hour (some require costumes)

8 p.m.- Youth wrist band distribution begins

9 p.m. - Accounting tent closes for night; all fundraising booths close for luminaria ceremony and fireworks

9:15 p.m. - Luminaria ceremony

10 p.m. - Fireworks by Pyrotecnico

10:30 p.m. - Rocket to the Stars performance

11 p.m. - Decorated tent judging

11:30 p.m. - Come and Go bingo in activity tent

June 1

12:30 a.m. - Come and Go trivia in activity tent

2 a.m. - $1 ice cream bar opens in luminary tent

3 a.m. - Field games (hula hoop games, Twister, Snake Wrangling, team Relay challenges)

6 a.m. - Rise and Shine Zumba with Rachel Yeager

7 a.m. - All food booths open breakfast sales

8 a.m. - Musical chairs scavenger hunt

9 a.m. - Team scavenger hunt

10 a.m. - All carnival booths open until 4 p.m. Children’s activities in activity tent. Massage tent opens in luminary tent. Accounting tent reopens

11 a.m. – Santino Ferrese, ventriloquist

11:30 a.m. – Pie eating contest

Noon – Live music by Drop The Act

1 p.m. – Air guitar band competition

2 p.m. – New Castle Playhouse Mini Stars

3 p.m. – Miss Relay competition (men only)

4 p.m. – T.J. Hill, magician

4:45 p.m. – Final celebration lap

5 p.m. – Closing ceremony and awards presentation.

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