2018 Relay for Life kicks off

The 2018 Oktibbeha County Relay for Life Event Leadership Team is: Amanda Adams, Caleb Rich, Missy Rich, Christy Vaughn, Nick Bell, John Teasler, Brian Hawkins, JoHelen Walker, Thomas Skinner, Rylie Simmons, Diane Holloway, Darlene Young, Bert Curried, Betty Sparrow and Quondra Johnson. (Photo by Mary Rumore, SDN)
Staff Writer

The 2018 Relay for Life began Tuesday night with a kick off event at the Hilton Garden Inn.

The 2018 Oktibbeha County Relay for Life will begin at 6 p.m. April 6 at the Sportsplex.

During the kick off event, the theme for the 2018 Relay for Life was announced. This year's theme is "Cancer: Not here, not there, not anywhere,” and it is a play off of Dr. Suess.

During the kick off event, team members got to interact with each other, and the new lead team for 2018 was named.

The 2018 Oktibbeha County Relay for Life Event Leadership Team is: Amanda Adams- Event Lead, Caleb Rich-Missions Lead, Missy Rich-Missions Co-lead, Christy Vaughn- Luminary Lead, Nick Bell- Social Media/Marketing Lead, John Teasler- Social Media/Marketing Co-Lead, Brian Hawkins- Logistics Lead, JoHelen Walker- Accounting Lead, Thomas Skinner- MSU Colleges Against Cancer Lead, Rylie Simmons –MSU Colleges Against Cancer Co-Lead, Diane Holloway- Recruiting Lead, Darlene Young- Survivor/Caregiver Lead, Bert Currie- Entertainment Lead, Betty Sparrow- ACS Cancer Action Network Lead and Quondra Johnson- Registration/Sponsorship Lead.

Event lead Amanda Adams said this year, Mississippi State University and Oktibbeha County are teaming up for Relay for Life for the first time.

"Typically MSU has their own Relay event, but this year, they asked to partner with Oktibbeha County to create one huge event," Adams said.

Also for the first time this year, Adams said, Oktibbeha County Relay for Life will be selling t-shirts as fundraiser. The shirts cost $15 for sizes small through extra-large, and $17 for sizes above extra-large.

Relay for Life has also started selling Torches of Hope for $100 and luminaries for $10 as fundraisers for the event.

Adams said the torches and luminaries are purchased in memory of someone who has passed away from cancer, or in honor of someone who is fighting, surviving or a caregiver.

"The torches are actually tiki torches with a plaque of who it's commemorating," Adams said. "We display them, and then you can take it."

T-shirts, luminaries and torches can be purchased from any team member or by emailing oktrelay@gmail.com.

Adams said on the night of the event, teams from churches, organizations, businesses and families set up booths to sell goods or services to raise more money for Relay for Life, anyone who is interested in joining a team can email oktrelay@gmail.com.

Relay for Life is the annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, Donations are used to fund life-saving cancer research, patient support services, prevention and education information, and detection and treatment programs.

"Relay for Life is the leading fundraiser for the American Cancer Society that multiple regions throughout the United States conduct each year," Adams said.

Oktibbeha County Relay for Life is also hosting a Survivors Banquet for survivors or all types of cancer, friends, family and caregivers at 6 p.m. on March 20 at the Hilton Garden Inn. The Bank Night will be at 6 p.m. March 29, also at the Hilton Garden Inn.