Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
Last year was the 25th anniversary of Relay For Life, but this year is the organization’s 25th race. Like many other things, last year’s event for the American Cancer Society was postponed due to COVID restrictions. But this year, Relay For Life is back – with some safety precautions.
“We had to make some changes,” said Brenda Kiser of Relay. These changes were made for safety, she continued.
“The purpose of the relay is to recognize and honor our (cancer) survivors,” Kiser said. But, due to their recovery and treatment, they are part of the high risk population. If they contracted the virus, they would be among the most likely to experience the worst effects of COVID-19.
So while they will encourage masking and social distancing, the award presenters will also wear gloves and plenty of hand sanitizers will be available.
They will also take over this year in the form of a parade of vehicles.
“It was a very difficult decision to make,” Kiser said, but they felt it was the safest way to move forward with the event.
The Relay For Life Survivor / Caregiver Parade, as billed, will take place on Saturday, September 18 at 6 p.m. in downtown Grayson.
Those interested in participating can pre-register through the Carter County Relay For Life Facebook page, or on the day of the event. Participants will line up at the site of the old courthouse, in the parking lot of the First Baptist Church. Programming will start at 5 p.m.
The parade will then move slowly along Main Street, stopping briefly at the Merchant Parking Lot so that survivors and caregivers can be recognized. The survivors will receive their t-shirts and medals during this stop.
The procession will then descend Pomeroy to leave the course.
Family, friends and team members are encouraged to line up along the street to watch and cheer for survivors.
Survivors can travel the road in a car, truck, motorcycle, or other form of transportation. They are also encouraged to decorate their vehicles.
The Relay For Life committee will be set up in the commercial bank parking lot at the end of the route, receiving donations for cancer research and selling lights and sky lanterns for the second part of the celebration.
The second celebration, scheduled for Oct. 17, starting at dusk, will feature lighting displays at both ends of the county. In Grayson, they will be on display on the steps of the merchant parking lot. In Olive Hill, they will be placed on the steps leading to the Olive Hill Historical Society.
Those who purchase one fixture will receive two – one at each location – for the purchase price. According to COVID figures, and if it feels safe to assemble, as well as the weather, the group may also release sky lanterns, Kiser said.
Kiser said the group has raised about half of its $ 50,000 goal so far. In addition to purchasing lighting fixtures or making a donation during the event, those wishing to support the American Cancer Society and cancer research, can deposit donations for the organization directly at Commercial Bank locations in Grayson. and Olive Hill.
They can also contact Brenda Kiser at (606) 548-0304, Aimie Walker at (606) 255-0833 or Linda Arnettt at (606) 255-0573, to donate or for more information.
Registered teams will have a bank night on September 13 at 7 p.m. Teams will return any money raised through their pledges to the American Cancer Society at that time.
Kiser said they appreciate the support from the community and said that despite the complications caused by the virus over the past year, they will continue to work to recognize the survivors, remember those who are lost and “be fight to end this terrible disease that has affected our entire lives.
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