In an effort to rekindle more public participation, the Highland County Relay for Life will not last as long as in past years when it kicks off Friday for the 24th year.
This year’s event will take place from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Highland County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro.
“Participation has been dwindling the last few years, and the weather has played a large role in that,” said Angela Moots, who this year is serving as co-host of the event with Liz Jarpapka. “We’re trying shorter hours to see if we can get some momentum built up, then we’ll maybe look at extending the hours.”
This year’s event will be held rain or shine. In the event of rain, it will be held in the Rabbit and Poultry Barn on the fairgrounds. If the weather is good, it will be held outdoors near the center of the fairgrounds.
Teams will be offering various types of food and beverages for the public to purchase, and there will also be games the public can participate in for a nominal fee.
“Each team will have different fundraisers, some will have games, and there will be different events throughout the night like chariot races where there will be three team members and the smallest one will be on a tarp that the other two pull to a finish line,” Moots said. “There will be a deejay, karaoke, musical chairs and more, and you don’t have to be a team member to enjoy it all.“
All proceeds go to the American Cancer Society to help with research and other programs, according to Moots.
The theme this year will be Dr. Seuss.
“We’ll be setting up tables representing the different areas of the relay. People can come and roam at their leisure and talk to other people representing each area,” Moots said.
She said those areas include one for a luminaria event that people can purchase luminaries for; an entertainment area; general information about the American Cancer Society, what it does for local residents and where the money raised from the local Relay for Life goes; and a survivors area where people can register for a cancer survivors dinner.
Following is a schedule for this year’s relay:
6 p.m. — Opening ceremony
6:15 p.m. — Survivor lap
6:30 p.m. — Survivor dinner\Team banner lap
6:45 p.m. — Sponsor lap
7 p.m. — Spirit stick lap
7:15 p.m. — Chariot races\Campsite judging
7:30 p.m. — Caregivers lap
7:45 p.m. — Veterans lap
8 p.m. — Dr. Suess lap
8:15 p.m. — Musical chairs
8:30 p.m. — Ms. Relay
8:45 p.m. — Mr. Relay
9 p.m. — Wocket in my Pocket
9:15 p.m. — Suess It Up
9:30 to 10:45 p.m. — Luminaria ceremony
11 p.m. — Frozen T-shirt/Line dance
11:15 p.m. — Glow in the Dark lap
11:30 p.m. — Glow in the Dark lap
11:45 p.m. — Awards
Midnight — Clean up and tear down
“We would just like people to come out and see what we have,” Moots said. “It’s for the whole family.”
For more informationy, call Moots at 937-768-6039 or Jarjapka at 937-403-6942.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.