WILLIAMSTOWN - Community members and event organizers are working out the final details of the seventh annual Williamstown Relay for Life on Friday in Tomlinson Park.
"Everything is ready and we are now just waiting for Friday to get here," said Carmen Hathaway, community manager for the Parkersburg Chapter of the American Cancer Society.
This is the seventh year the city has held its own cancer-beating event, Hathaway said.
"Every year Williamstown's relay gets bigger and better than the year before," she said. "This community is unlike any other I have worked with; they work together and take care of one another with great strength."
The overnight event will begin Friday around 4 p.m. with the traditional survivors' dinner and will end after a breakfast at 9 a.m. Saturday.
The community raised about $57,000 for cancer research for the sixth annual relay last year, Hathaway said.
An Important Cause
The seventh annual Williamstown Relay for Life will be Friday through Saturday morning in Tomlinson Park.
About 20 teams will hold fundraising booths that will include activities and food during the 12-hour event.
This year's goal for the community is $57,000, which is about the same that was raised during last year's event.
This was about $18,000 less than the $75,000 goal.
"Whether we hit the goal or not, every penny counts and everyone worked so very hard," Hathaway said.
The money this year will be raised by about 20 teams through fundraising events throughout the year as well as activities such as selling food and games during the overnight relay Friday and Saturday.
Along with fun and games like the purse auction, corn hole and a coin toss, there will be a time for reflection at 9:45 p.m. with the luminaria service, which honors and remembers loved ones who have battled cancer.
"We had 1,003 luminarias lining the walk last year and hope to have a lot this year," Hathaway said. "It is always a really beautiful and touching part of the relay."
To pass the time between the 6 p.m. start and the 6 a.m. closing ceremonies, participants in the relay will walk the track, play games and put on small events. New this year is a handmade pie auction that will take place during the annual purse auction.
"Relay for Life is open to community members, not just those in teams," Hathaway said. "Everyone has been touched by cancer in some way and we want to share the strength and remember those we have lost during this time."
Many teams work all year, holding events to raise money for the ACS, and the relay event is another way for them to help.
Food is one of the biggest fundraisers during the relay and is expected to include taco-in-a-bag, deep fried oreos and chicken and noodles.
There are projects, including the Road to Recovery Grand Prix, where teams build and decorated cardboard cars to race, Hathaway said.
"There will be a car show before the race, which is always a lot fun," she said. "These cars are really fun to look at and so wonderful."
"The best thing about funding grants nationwide is that the progress made anywhere in the nation affects everyone in the world, so the monies raised right here in Williamstown can help billions of people," Hathaway said. "Every little bit raised truly makes a difference."
For more information contact the American Cancer Society at 304-422-1472 or visit the website at www.relayforlife.org/williamstownwv