Highland County Relay for Life runs 12 hours Saturday, June 23

Organizers hope to draw more visitors to 23rd annual event

By Jeff Gilliland - [email protected]

The 23rd annual Really for Life of Highland County is taking place from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 23 at the Highland County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro and organizers hope the new one-day format will bring more people out to help raise funds to find a cure for cancer.

In the past the event started at 6 p.m. on a Friday and ended around noon on Saturday. But this year organizers decided to try a one-day, 12-hour event.

“It’s still the same event honoring our cancer survivors, remembering our loved ones, and fighting for a cure,” said Cindy Wilson, co-leader of the event. “We’re hoping this will give the community more of a chance to come out and see us.”

There will be Relay teams selling a variety of food, games for kids, raffles, an auction, all kinds of activities to keep the event lively and fun, and a big tent with fans to help visitors escape the heat.

This year’s theme is “Relay Goes to Hollywood: Lights, Action, Cure.”

One of the new events is a Little Mr. & Miss Glamour Parade that starts at 4 p.m.

“We are asking you to dress up your little one like a Hollywood star and let them strut the red carpet at our event to help raise money to find a cure to end cancer,” Highland County Relay for Life said in a news release. “Trophies will be awarded to the winners (age groups 1 month to 3 years and 4-6 years, for boys and girls). The winners will be determined by how much money you collect to be donated to the Relay for Life of Highland County.”

The parade is part of the effort to draw more parents and kids to the Relay, Wilson said.

She also said that if local residents visit the event, she believes they will catch the spirit.

“Before I was an event lead, I did the survivors dinner and my sister would come out for the dinner and then leave,” Wilson said. “Then she stayed until midnight one year and was back at 5 a.m. the next morning. Until you get out there and feel the love and support from the people that are there – and it’s not just cancer survivors, it’s entire families – when you get out there and feel that love and support, you get drawn in. I can’t explain it, but until you’re out there, that’s when you’ll understand what Relay is all about.”

A full schedule of the day’s events accompanies this story.

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or [email protected]

Organizers hope to draw more visitors to 23rd annual event

By Jeff Gilliland

[email protected]