By Kara Hallissey, Staff Writer
(May 11, 2018) Activities for the entire family will be offered during the American Cancer Society’s annual Relay for Life, which takes place at the Frontier Town Campground, off Route 611 in West Ocean City, Friday, and helps to raise awareness and money for research, education and patient services for those battling all cancers.
“This is the premiere fundraising event for the American Cancer Society mainly because it supports all cancers,” said Dawn Hodge, event chair. “This year, more than ever we want to let our community know that there is hope on the horizon. Who knows, the cure may be in the test tube that donors from the Relay For Life of North Worcester County fund.”
The 2018 North Worcester County Relay For Life is an all-night walk kicking off at 6 p.m. to celebrate survivors beating cancer, remember loved ones who lost their battle and offer support for people who are currently fighting the disease.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Oceans of Hope.”
“Join us hand-in-hand with our toes in the sand for Oceans of Hope,’” Hodge said. “Participants will decorate their campsite with beach or under-the-sea-themed decor and incorporate them in their onsite fundraisers and mission messages.”
Each team will have its own campsite with water and electricity, courtesy of Frontier Town.
Individuals and teams can register at the event starting at 4 p.m., and there is no fee to participate.
This year, more than 300 participants are expected to attend. Relay For Life will begin at 6 p.m. Friday and continue until midnight on Saturday.
The goal for 2018 is to have more than 100 survivors in attendance and to generate $205,000 for the American Cancer Society. Approximately $50,170 had been raised as of Monday morning, Hodge said.
“We are seeing lots of the same people sign up because we have become one great big Relay family,” Hodge said. “We are thrilled to see new additions each year. Getting the word out in the community earlier and through lots of new venues we are seeing an increase in new members to our family for 2018.”
Participants have until Aug. 31 to submit their final donations.
During the six-hour fundraiser, team members will take turns walking laps and organizers strive for each team to have at least one member taking a lap throughout the night.
In 2017, 40 teams and more than 300 registered participants attended Relay For Life, helping to raise about $192,194 for the organization. Throughout the past 21 years, North Worcester County’s Relay has donated more than $1.2 million to the American Cancer Society.
Relay for Life’s 2018 opening ceremony kicks off at 6 p.m. Cancer survivors will walk the ceremonial first lap of the night, the “Survivors Lap,” while they are cheered on by other participants in celebration of their victory over cancer.
“This year we engaged kids from the high schools and middle schools to plan the event activities and laps,” Hodge said. “A lot of fun and exciting laps and activities came out of this group. They include a sea horse race to represent our patient service road to recovery. Pin-the-tentacle on the octopus to represent the support of caregivers to survivors through the cancer journey.”
In addition, an underwear over there lap was designed to raise awareness of prostate, cervical/uterine and breast cancers.
An abundance of children’s activities will be available in the center of the track including badminton, volleyball, capture the flag and an obstacle course. There will also be a scavenger hunt and bingo.
Psalm 66 Band will play music during the opening ceremony with DJ Brian K. Hall from Classic Rock- the Vault 103.5 and 106.1 spinning the tunes all night long before a special guest performance from the Undateables kicks off at 10 p.m.
The Luminaria Ceremony of Remembrance begins at 7:45 p.m. in honor and remembrance of a loved one or friend who has been touched by cancer, Hodge said.
A heartfelt candle-lighting ceremony takes place at dusk with a suggested donation of $10 a bag and $25 a tiki torch or lantern, which can be purchased at the event from 4-7:30 p.m.
“The Luminaria ceremony is one of the key moments of a Relay for Life,” Hodge said. “It has a triple symbolic purpose: to commemorate the people who have passed as a result of cancer, give hope and support to those suffering from cancer and celebrate people who have overcome the disease. Anyone can make a $10 donation toward a candle and place it in a luminary bag on which a name, a wish, a message can be written.”
Prior to closing ceremonies slated for midnight, a “S’more Hope” bonfire is designed to leave attendees with a hopeful outlook on the fight against cancer, Hodge said.
For more information or to register, visit www.relayforlife.org/northworcestermd or contact Hodge at firstname.lastname@example.org or 443-497-1198. Search “Relay For Life North Worcester County Maryland” on Facebook.