Final preparations are under way for the annual Newton County Relay For Life, to be held Friday and Saturday at Bob Anderson Stadium on the Neosho High School campus.
The opening ceremony begins at 6 p.m. Prior to that, the tent city will start up at noon on Friday, followed by the carnival at 5 p.m. The public is invited to attend the event. This year’s theme is “Carnival For Life.”
“The purpose of this event is to celebrate those who have won the battle against cancer, and to remember those who lost their battle and to help those who are fighting their battle,” said Dana Eads, with the local Relay. “We raise money to help fight the battle against cancer and we also will have information available to stay healthy. We help our cancer patients during their fight, also our funds go to research to help eliminate this disease.”
This year, there are 24 teams registered and the practice field at the high school will be full of tents from the teams.
Their goal is to raise $70,000.
Relay For Life is an overnight event. Teams of eight to 15 members gather with tents and sleeping bags to participate in the largest fundraising walk in the nation. Relay For Life unites friends, families, businesses, hospitals, schools and churches — people from all walks of life. Teams seek sponsorship prior to the Relay, all with the goal of supporting a cure for cancer.
After the opening ceremonies there will be a survivors’ walk.
“This year, there is a notable change in the survivors’ walk: we will be waiting until later in the evening to do this walk,” she said. “It will be at 8 p.m. and the caregivers’ walk with follow right after. The reason for this is maybe it will not be so hot for all those survivors.”
Karla Boatright will be speaking at the survivor walk.
“Following the survivor ceremony will be the luminary ceremony, then fireworks, and we will start our evening of games and bands,” she said.
This year’s speaker at the luminary service will be the family of Malcolm Mosby.
“We will honor Malcolm for all his years of dedication and support he gave to Relay,” Eads said. “He was a rock in our committee and his wisdom was beyond words, so he will be honored during this ceremony.”
There will be a lot of activities for children ranging from the carnival to petting zoo to train rides and more. Those in attendance will also have the chance at food and to bid on silent auction items.
Prior to the event, the Relay For Life committee is asking that area businesses announce the Relay on their marquees.
Eads said the committee is pleased with the community’s support for this worthwhile event.
“We are excited as a committee to bring this event to Neosho,” she said. “It takes a lot of planning and work but the satisfaction of seeing it all come together and have a great event makes all those hours of preparation worthwhile. We love all the community support, we could not do this without all their help.”
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
Noon – tent city set up begins
4 p.m. music begins
5 p.m. carnival begins
5:30 p.m. Sensations Performance Dance
5:45 p.m. team captains line up for opening ceremony
6 p.m. kickoff ceremony
6:15 p.m. team introductions and anthem
6:30 p.m. Marisha Brown singing
7:30 p.m. teams line up around track
8 p.m. survivor walk
9 p.m. luminaria ceremony
10 p.m. fireworks
10:30 p.m. silent auction closes
11:30 games on football field begin, carnival closes, pick up auction items.
Midnight – breakfast
12:30 a.m. to 5 a.m. – various activities
5:30 a.m. begin last laps
5:45 a.m. closing ceremony
6 a.m. Relay ends