Franklin, Southampton Relay For Life set for June 1

Published 9:47 am Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Luminary Celebration is just one of the moving moments of Relay for Life. This photo, taken at last year’s Franklin event, spells out the hope for cancer survivors. -- SUBMITTED PHOTO

The Luminary Celebration is just one of the moving moments of Relay for Life. This photo, taken at last year’s Franklin event, spells out the hope for cancer survivors. — SUBMITTED PHOTO

FRANKLIN—The 19th annual Franklin/Southampton Relay for Life event is set for Saturday, June 1, and this year is celebrating American Cancer Society’s 100th birthday.

The event will be held at Southampton High School beginning at 10 a.m. with the Survivor’s Lap and returns to an overnight Relay this year.

“There are many changes to the event this year. The most visible is the change of venue,” Event Chair Shellie McHenry said this week. “We have moved from the Bronco Federal Credit Union field to the football field of Southampton High School. The primary reason for this change

of venue is the safety concerns of going back to an overnight event. The football field will offer lighting and a gated entry, which we did not have at BFCU.”

“Relay for Life is typically an overnight event, as it was many years ago in our community,” McHenry continued. “ In transitioning back to such we have tried to create a schedule of events this year that blends our traditional Relay with an extended overnight schedule.”

“So, as in recent years, the Relay will begin Saturday morning with the Survivor’s Lap at 10 a.m. and we will have the Luminary ceremony at 8 p.m. However, this year, the Relay for Life will not end with Luminaria but, walking and activities will continue through the night until the Fight Back ceremony at 6 a.m. Sunday morning,” she explained.

For the Luminary Celebration, McHenry said

Handicapped-accessible football stadium seating will be available to those attending, and at its conclusion all football field lights will be turned on to assist guests in a safe departure.

There will be music, events and entertainment throughout the day. There will be a Kid’s Zone with inflatables and other children’s activities.

Also, “Sounds of Time,” a Golden Oldies hits band will host two performances at 1 and 3 p.m. Upon the committee’s special request, local favorite Christian Pearson, will be returning from Panama City to DJ the event. The concession stand will also be open throughout the event — day and night, staffed by teachers and student volunteers with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.

The luminary ceremony will begin at 8 p.m.

Following that, walking will continue throughout the night until 6 a.m. Sunday, June 2, at which time Relay will end with the Fight Back Celebration.

Organizers said it is not too late to get involved as a team, volunteer or individual.

This year’s theme is “Wish Upon A Cure,” and Teams will decorate their campsites in various Disney themes. Throughout the day and night there will be activities and themed laps based on Disney movies and characters, including a Little Mermaid Lap featuring beach music tunes.

New this year is the Inaugural Midnight

Pajama Fashion Show.

“We are hoping this becomes a long-standing tradition to Relay,” stressed McHenry. “It is open to all Relay participants and any guests from the community. You do not have to be registered with the Relay to participate. We are promoting this is a ‘comfy, cool, and comical couture event’ open to all ages. A variety of awards will be given from the serious ‘Most Spirited Relayer’ to the not-so-serious ‘As Seen in Wal-Mart Award’,” she said.

Relay teams will be selling food and crafts and there will be raffles throughout the day — all to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.

There will be a 10 p.m. curfew for all unchaperoned Relay participants and guests under the age of 18.

There are 21 teams and 227 participants registered. Luminary forms and donations can be turned in through 3 p.m. Saturday, the day of the event.

Another focus for this year’s event will be the American Cancer Society’s Missions Tent. People can sign up for a cancer prevention study, CPS-3 and learn about the Action Network (ACS CAN).

Since this year marks the 100th birthday of ACS, A common theme for Relay for Life teams is “creating a world with more birthdays.” At 6:30 p.m. everyone will be asked to join in a “Birthday Lap” and for a slice of birthday cake.

The Southampton High School Keys 4 a Cure team will sponsor a campsite focused on preventing Skin Cancer. They will sponsor the “Slip Slap Slop Lap” on Saturday and their campsite will have “Free Shots” of sunscreen all day long.

According to McHenry, The Sojourners are in top place for fundraising this year.

“They have been among the top fundraisers for a long, long time,” she praised.

For further information, go to the Franklin/Southampton Relay for Life website at The group also has a Facebook page.