Relay for Life kicks off Friday night

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

Local teams are gearing up and getting set to walk lots of miles to raise money for the American Cancer Society during the annual Relay for Life that will begin on Friday night.

Greyhound Arena will become a sea of campsites as members from 26 teams move in on Friday night and begin to set up their areas. Activities for the event will begin with a 6 p.m. cancer survivors’ reception, said event organizer Debbie Stenstrom.

“We would really like all the survivors to come out so we can honor them,” Stenstrom said.

Opening ceremonies take place at 7:15 p.m. and the event runs through 8 a.m. Saturday.

With help from Jeff Blake, director of student activities and organizations at Eastern New Mexico University, a variety of bands will perform hourly throughout the night, Stenstrom said.

“We have a little bit of everything,” Stenstrom said. “It’s a community event, and we want to have things everyone can enjoy.”

Many of the teams will provide activities or games as part of their fund-raising efforts, Stenstrom said.

Selling luminarias and paper chain links are a few of the fund-raisers by area Family, Career and Community Leaders of America chapters (FCCLA) from Portales and Texico High School and Yucca Junior High School.

To date, $15,000 has been raised, with more expected during the relay itself.

“We have a lot more going on than last year. I think the FCCLA chapters working together has really been beneficial,” Stenstrom said.

Opening ceremonies will include a survivor’s lap and a slide show honoring survivors and those who have lost the cancer battle, said Amy Garcia, Yucca FCCLA teacher.

“Things are going well,” Garcia said. “The kids are really excited and can’t wait until Friday night.”

At a glance

What: American Cancer Society Relay for Life

When: 7:15 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday

Where: Eastern New Mexico University Greyhound Arena

Information: Debbie Stenstrom, 693-2369.

5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.
• Survivor Registration
6 p.m. – 7 p.m..
• Survivor Reception (open to all survivors and their caregivers)
7:15 p.m. — 8:15 p.m.
• Opening Ceremonies
8:15 p.m. — 9 p.m.
• Camp Set up
9 p.m.
• Laps start
• Kevin Gardels and Kacee Lovato
• Dodge ball Tournament starts
• Custom Creations Giveaway
10 p.m. – 7 a.m.
• Entertainment by various local bands
7 a.m. – 8 a.m.
• Closing ceremonies and awards