Relay For Life of Hopkins County is gearing up for the annual 12-hour fundraising walk, cancer awareness and remembrance campaign slated May 17-18. Committee members are excited, but especially busy ironing out all of the details for this year’s move of the event to the downtown square.
While raising funds for the American Cancer Society and its programs, research and awareness efforts are important, RFL of Hopkins County Committee members also emphasize the importance of honoring those who are currently battling or have won a personal battle with cancer.
That’s why early each year the RFL Committee hosts a special dinner just for survivors and their families, to celebrate them and their fight.
This year, the RFL of Hopkins County Survivors Dinner will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, in First United Methodist Church gym.
Any and all cancer survivors are invited to attend the event, free to them and their immediate family or caregiver. However, those planning to attend are asked to RSVP by Feb. 16 to help event planners better plan for the event. Cancer survivors can RSVP by contacting Joyce Davis at 903-885-6176 or Katena McCord at 903-885-7743.
The meal for the survivors’ dinner will be provided by the Aguilar family.
Also, cancer survivors who haven’t registered for the May 17 RFL can still do so by contacting one of the survivors committee chairs or online at www.relayforlife.org/hopkinscotx
RFL Committee still welcomes additional teams to the May 17-18 event. The goals for this year’s RFL are to exceed last year’s participation and fundraising. The 2012 RFL grossed $66,520.63, had 28 teams and 287 cancer survivors participating. HCRFL Committee members have set this year’s fundraising goal at $90,000 for the American Cancer Society, with 35 teams and 288 cancer survivors participating.
The team registration fee is $5 through January and goes up to $35 on Feb. 1. A team captains meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan.31, in First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall.
“Anyone interested in forming a team or participating in RFL is encouraged to attend the meeting for more information,” said Ashley McCracken, HCRFL Event Co-Chair with Judy Worley.
Team registration can done online at www.relayforlife.org/hopkinscotx, or by contacting RFL teams committee member Johnna West at 903-335-2322
As of Jan. 28, there were eight teams and 43 participants registered online. Together, they’d raise $1,696.75. The Famers Electric and Friends team lead by Sheryl M. Paden was leading the charge, raising $1,436.75 of that amount. Contributions to individual teams or team members can be made at the RFL website.
Last year, the American Cancer Society recognized RFL of Hopkins County during the annual event as being the first RFL in the region to be a $1 million relay. That is Hopkins County RFL has raised more than $1 million over the last decade for ACS.
This year’s local RFL theme is “Tweet Out Cancer,” which will coordinate with the launch of their Twitter account. Follow the Hopkins County Relay For Life on Twitter: @RFLHopkinsCoTX.
“A lot of people use Facebook and Twitter. When we pass the torch, it’ll be to a younger group for the committee,” Worley said following official announcement of this year’s theme and goals back in November.
In addition to Twitter, people can check out RFL at www.facebook.com/RFLHopkinsCoTX.
Luminaria dedications can be made in honor or remembrance of someone who is battling or has battled cancer. Each luminary costs $5, which includes a message or remembrance as well as who donated it on the bag, which contains a candle. Each luminary is placed around the track and lit in time for the luminar ceremony at dusk May 17.
This year’s entertainment will be handled by committee chair Joel Williams. Anyone interested in performing at RFL should contact Williams as early as possible at 903-243-6165 to get involved.
Also, this year, RFL will not be hosting a food tent. Teams will be asked to sell food to raise money.
“We think this will cut down on our expenses, having it on the square. It’s wired for sound and has its own stage. This will help us on expenses,” Worley said.
Any additional RFL questions may be directed to Worley at 903-439-8449 or McCracken at 903-307-9917.
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