Teams gearing up for relay

Luminaries line the walking path during 10th annual Curry County Relay for Life in May 2005 at Ned Houk Park. (File photo)

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

With the relay still more than a month away, 32 teams have already formed and begun fund-raising, said Clovis Relay For Life Co-chair Kay Prater.

Scheduled for May 5-6 at Ned Houk Park, the relay is “a fun-filled overnight event designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money to help the American Cancer Society save lives, help those who have been touched by cancer, and empower individuals to fight back against this disease,” according to the American Cancer Society’s Web site.

Relay participants will walk around the track, lit by memorial luminaries, throughout the night, according to Prater.

“We are down to the wire,” she said, explaining that entertainment is being arranged and plans are being finalized for the event.

Teams must register by April 13 in order to receive T-shirts. Although no one will be turned away, Prater said, “we are trying to encourage registration now so that (teams) have an opportunity to do their fund-raising.”

Last year more than 75 teams participated in the 21-hour relay and an estimated $97,000 was raised. This year, with increased membership, Prater hopes to exceed last year’s totals. “We have more (people) on the committees than we’ve ever had,” she said. “That tells me we’re growing.”

“Oh the places we’ll go …,” drawn from a children’s book by Dr. Seuss, is the motto for this year’s Relay for Life campaign.

For Prater, it is full of meaning. “We want (cancer) research to go places. We want to develop a cure for cancer — we want to go places,” she said.

• What: 2006 Curry County Relay for Life
• When: May 5-6
• Where: Ned Houk Park.
• Teams: Five people minimum are needed.
• Cost: $10 per person.
• How to register: Contact Kay Prater (760-3573) or Cathy Hess (762-4675).

By the numbers:
2 — Times a month the team captains meet to organize and discuss preparations.

5 — Minimum people needed to start a team. Registration cost is $10 per person.

12 — Age of the youngest team captain. Kye Skelton, a cancer survivor, is participating in the relay for a third year.

$206,000 — this year’s Relay for Life fund-raising goal.