For Starkville Daily News
With the 2011 Oktibbeha County Relay for Life now less than two months away, organizers and participating teams are kicking fund-raising efforts into high gear as they work to meet a $100,000 goal for the event.
Benefiting the American Cancer Society, the 2011 Relay for Life is set from 6 p.m. May 6 to 6 a.m. May 7 at the Starkville Sportsplex. The theme for the event is “An Old-Fashioned County Fair: Remembering a Simpler Time Before Cancer.”
The Relay for Life is a fun-filled overnight event designed to celebrate cancer survivorship and raise money to support ACS research, advocacy, education and patient assistance programs. During the event, teams gather at a specified location and take turns walking or running around a track surrounded by booths and tents representing each team, with each team keeping at least one of its members on the track at all times.
Games, food and live entertainment are a big part of the local Relay for Life event, but the primary focus is honoring cancer survivors and paying tribute to those who lost their battles with the disease.
“All our teams are doing some neat things to raise money toward our $100,000 goal for this year’s Relay, and there are many ways the public can get involved,” said Diane Holloway, chair of the Relay for Life Committee. “We encourage everyone in Starkville and Oktibbeha County to participate in these fund-raisers. The more money we raise, the more lives we can save from cancer.”
Here are some of the fund-raisers being conducted by local Relay for Life teams:
• Statewide Federal Credit Union – The Statewide team is having a “Kiss the Pig” contest, with people donating money to the person they would like to see kiss a pig. The three people “competing” to kiss the pig are Gary Allen, Elizabeth Carrithers and Michael Wilson. Donations for a contestant can be made at Statewide’s offices on Highway 12 West through the morning of April 22. The winner will kiss the pig at 3 p.m. that day, which will also feature a bake sale.
The Statewide team is selling chances for a drawing for a $100 prize. Tickets cost $1 apiece or $3 for 5 tickets. The team is also selling popcorn at the Statewide offices every Friday for $1 per bag. The Statewide team is also compiling a cookbook which will be sold at a later date. For more information about the Statewide team’s fundraisers, contact Elizabeth Carrithers at 323-5020, ext. 109, or by e-mail at email@example.com 
• Southwire Co. – The Southwire Co. team is holding a benefit softball tournament April 1 and 2 at the Sportsplex on Lynn Lane. The entry fee for men’s teams is $125 per team; the entry fee for women’s teams is $100 per team. Trophies for first, second and third place finishing teams will be awarded, and drawings for prizes will also be held during the event. Call Trey Spencer at (662) 769-0965 or Kim McGregory at 341-2984 for more information about the tournament.
The Southwire team is selling chances to win a $100 Walmart gift card for $3 each or $5 for two chances. The Southwire team is also selling chances for a 32-inch Vizio flat-screen LCD television for $5 each. The drawings for both the Walmart card and the television will be held the night of the Relay on May 6.
For more information about the Southwire team’s fund-raisers, call 320-7227 and ask for Glenda Gazaway (ext. 2), Dewayne Hunt (ext. 1), Lori Evans (ext. 3), Roosevelt McGee (ext. 4) or Vernita McCarter (ext. 5)
• Synergetics DCS – The Synergetics team is hosting a pancake breakfast at Applebee’s from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. April 2. Tickets cost $5 each and may be purchased by coming by the Synergetics offices on Highway 12 or by calling Sandy Simpson at 323-9484. For more information about other fund-raisers the Synergetics team is conducting, e-mail Simpson at firstname.lastname@example.org .
• CB&S Bank – The CB&S Bank team has a limited number of t-shirts for sale at the bank on Highway 12 East. Youth and basic adult sizes (S, M, L, XL) cost $12 each, while larger sizes (XXL and higher) cost $15 each. The CB&S Bank team is also holding a bake sale on April 29. For more information about the team’s fund-raisers, contact Tami Belding by e-mail at email@example.com 
• Team Ladybugs – Team Ladybugs is selling “Cure Dat” t-shirts at Allure Salon on Academy Road. Available in pink or black, the shirts cost $15 a piece.
• Garan Manufacturing – The Garan team is selling t-shirts for this year’s Relay that reflect the “County Fair” theme with a Ferris wheel in the design. Adult sizes cost $10 each; youth sizes cost $5 each. For more information, contact Renee Coleman at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Luminaries, Torches of Hope being sold
One of the principal ways all Relay for Life teams raise money is through the sale of luminaries and Torches of Hope. Both are sold in honor of individual cancer survivors or in memory of individuals who have lost their battles with cancer.
Luminaries cost $10 apiece and bear the name of the cancer survivor or one who lost his or her battle. Torches of Hope cost $100 apiece and will feature a purple bow and small plaque bearing the name of the person in whose honor or memory it has been purchased, as well as those who purchased it.
Order forms for both the luminaries Torches of Hope are available at the Book Mart at 120 E. Main St. or by sending e-mail to Betty Yeatman at email@example.com  or Sarah Grace Yeatman at firstname.lastname@example.org . Luminaries may be purchased through the day of the Relay and for the first few hours of the event on May 6. The deadline to order Torches of Hope is April 28.
The forms may be mailed or dropped off at the Book Mart at the address above or mailed to the Yeatmans at 3173 Self Creek Road, Maben, MS 39750.