Relay shares lineup for 2013 event this weekend

Published 6:57 pm Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Event organizers and fundraising teams are wrapping up their efforts as the 2013 Relay For Life of Chilton County draws near.

The annual, 12-hour event created to raise money and support for cancer research is set to begin at 6 p.m. Friday, April 26, and end at 6 a.m. Saturday, April 27, at the little league football field in Clanton.

Opening ceremonies will include a welcome from state Sen. Cam Ward and Rep. Kurt Wallace.

The traditional survivors’ ceremony, or Celebrate Ceremony, will follow. Cancer survivor Lori Peoples will share her survival story on stage.

Before survivors complete their customary lap around the track, each survivor will take a turn with the microphone to share his or her status as a current or former cancer patient.

“Each survivor will introduce themselves and say what type of cancer they’ve had and how long they’ve been a survivor and prepare to do the first lap,” Relay Chairwoman Aimee Eiland said. “They’ll take a balloon and at the end of the lap, they will release their balloons in celebration.”

Survivors interested in participating in the celebratory lap should report to the registration tent by 5:30 p.m.

Eiland said no registration fee is required. Those who registered before Relay are guaranteed their preferred T-shirt size. Survivors registering that night are guaranteed a T-shirt but may not receive it at Relay if supplies run out.

To register before Relay, visit and search “Chilton County,” or call community representative Paula Johnson at (205) 918-3212.

“They can hang out in the survivor’s tent reception area until we call them to the stage,” Eiland said. “We will have cake to serve them after they take their opening lap.”

Following the survivors’ lap is the caregivers’ lap for those who have cared or still care for someone with cancer.

“They’re the unsung heroes, really,” Eiland said of the caregivers. “Some of the people who take that lap may have lost their loved ones or are currently taking care of someone.”

Then, all children at Relay are invited to participate in a kids’ lap.

Musical entertainment, dance performances, an awards presentation and a cornhole tournament are several highlights that attendees can enjoy throughout the night.

The Remember Ceremony will be at 9:15 p.m. and includes the Luminaria Walk/Lap honoring late cancer patients and survivors by candlelight.

Historically, Relay For Life has been held in Chilton County for 20 years.

So far, local Relay teams have raised more than $30,000 of a $153,500 goal this year, not including community sponsorships and donations that will be turned in at Bank Day, which is Thursday from 1–5 p.m. at West End Baptist Church.

Luminaria forms and donations also need to be turned in at Bank Day.

Fifty-eight teams comprise the list of registered teams.

“Our goal was 60 (teams),” Eiland said. “To be honest, we really have 60 teams; they just haven’t all registered online.”

About $14,000 of a $20,000 target amount has been raised in sponsorship funds.

Anyone interested in being a sponsor may contact Paula Johnson at (205) 918-3212.

More than 40 campsites have been reserved at the field, but organizers said a handful of spots are still available.

Teams or groups that have reserved sites may start setting up on Friday.

A Be The Match bone marrow donor registry drive (ages 18–44) will be held at Relay from 6 p.m. to midnight.

Marrow donors are needed to save the lives of patients with diseases like leukemia, lymphoma or sickle cell anemia.

The only requirement to join the registry is a cheek swab.

Every $100 raised for Be The Match helps add another member to the registry.

Contributions can be made at, or text MATCH 210 to 50555 to give $10.

For more information, contact Clinton Cleckler at (205) 389-3577 or

Chilton County Relay’s annual Survivors’ Breakfast will be held at 7 a.m. Thursday at the West End Baptist Church Fellowship Hall.

All local cancer survivors are invited to fellowship with each other over a catered breakfast and hear from Betty Jannis, an American Cancer Society Hero of Hope from North Alabama.

Also, 4-year-old Dori Lawrence of Clanton will share memories of her grandfather, Floyd Logan, who died of cancer last year.

Donna Hill from Cornerstone Fitness and Wellness will talk about the facility’s new program and Cancer Conquerors exercise class to assist cancer patients and survivors in staying active.

Waffle House will serve breakfast at 5 a.m.

Numerous opportunities and activities will be available at Relay for people to make last-minute donations that will count toward this year’s fundraising goal.

Most importantly, organizers expect the county to show its support of everyone cancer has touched by attending the event Friday and Saturday.

“We are on the cusp of another awesome Relay For Life in Chilton County,” Eiland said. “I personally will walk and I will remember and I will rejoice that for all who have lost the fight, there are those who are triumphing over it. My deepest thanks goes out to this community for the positive impact they continue to make for so many in the fight against cancer through Relay For Life. I would personally like to invite everyone to join us for this special time.”