Relay has rodeo in mind for eighth year

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Yes, it's that time again. Time to get those teams together and start planning for Butler County's 8th Annual Relay For Life, the signature fundraising event for the American Cancer Society (ACS).

Organizers are hoping for a rootin,' tootin' good time at the upcoming western-themed Relay Rodeo, slated for Friday night, May 12.

The goal this year is to raise $100,000 for the continued fight against cancer.

&#8220We hope to increase the number of patients that survive now to 100 percent in our lifetime. This can only be done by funding research for a cure,” Joan Reynolds, chairman of both the Butler County Chapter of the ACS and its Relay For Life, said.

Sponsorship Chairman Juanita Poole filled in for Reynolds (who had a prior commitment) at the kickoff meeting Thursday night at the YMCA.

In the spirit of the occasion, Poole handed out Western-style pink and purple bandanas to the two dozen or so team captains who attended the meeting.

The Relay Rodeo will be a mixture of the old and new in 2006.

Poole announced the annual fundraiser will have a change of location this year, moving from the Butler County Fairgrounds to the football field at the YMCA.

&#8220We are very excited to have this great event on our grounds,” Amanda Phillips, YMCA director, said.

Ralph Stacy will return as the emcee, and many of the favorite activities of past Relays will return, including the ever-popular womanless beauty pageant, cook-off, dance-off, hula hoop competition, scavenger hunt and ski-walk contest.

Activities chair Laurie Martin said a new set of tires would be donated by McKinley Tires and raffle tickets will be sold for $1 each.

Teams Chair Rebecca Butts has lofty goals for RFL this year.

&#8220We are planning to try and have 50 teams a year. This can happen if everyone that attends the kick-off can recruit one new team,” Butts said.

&#8220Teams can be made up of friends, church groups, civic groups, businesses, schools or anyone that wants to bring ten or more people

together for a family-oriented, fun night of games and entertainment.”

Ethelyn Watson will once more be in charge on luminaria donations, while Vivian Killingsworth is heading up the annual survivors' luncheon.

The luncheon is slated for May 5 at the Family Life Center at First Baptist Church.

Anyone who wants to have a team should contact Greta Whiddon at 382-6336, Rebecca Butts at 371-0728 or Joan Reynolds at 382-8048.

For luminarias, contact Ethelyn Watson at 382-2517. For sponsorships, give Juanita Poole a call at 382-3773.

&#8220This is a wonderful community-wide, county-wide event that is so much fun and raises funds for such a worthwhile cause. We give thanks in advance to all those who support Relay For Life in any way,” Reynolds said..