LUMBERTON — There is time for people to sign up and be part of this year’s Robeson County Relay for Life, and a last-minute push might be needed if the cancer-fighting event is to meet its goals.
Teams, survivors and caretakers are sought for participation in the 23rd annual event Friday and Saturday at Robeson County Fairgrounds, said Amanda Smith, one of the organizers. People who just want to support the American Cancer Society and be part of the fight to end cancer are welcome, too.
“It’s a family friendly event,” she said. “There’s something for everyone.”
The 24-hour event begins at 9 a.m. Friday and ends at 9 a.m. Saturday. Donations this year are a bit behind in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.
The goal was to have 65 teams participating this weekend, Smith said.
“We’re at 50 teams,” she said on Tuesday.
But there’s no deadline, Smith said. Teams can register online at www.relayfourlife.org\robesonnc, at the event or by calling Smith at 910-734-9792.
Relay organizers set a goal of 1,300 overall participants. And they are close.
“I’m not sure how close we are,” Smith said. “I know we’re over a thousand.”
The relay’s goal for participating survivors was set at 535.
“We are very close to that, probably close to 500,” said Smith..
Smith remained confident of the bottom line, that the relay will meet its money goal of $165,000, the fundraising deadline for which is the end of July.
“We’re on track for meeting it by the end of July,” she said.
The Robeson County Relay for Life has raised about $2.5 million since the first one was held in 1995.
Activities begin Friday with a survivors’ dinner from 4 to 6 p.m. That will be followed by the survivor’s ceremony and then a lap for caretakers. Luminaries placed along the track will be lit at 9 p.m.
“That is when we recognize the ones (cancer victims) we have lost,” Smith said.
The relay also will feature line dancing, singing and a couple bands to entertain participants, she said. There will be games, a Hula Hoop tournament and a jump rope tournament for the children.
And there will be “food galore,” Smith said. “… It’s almost like fair food all over again.”
Cancer survivors get in free, but a $2 donation will be asked of anyone who arrives without a 2017 Hope Club Shirt.
“It’s not mandatory,” Smith said. “It is a donation.”
For information or to purchase luminaries, call Lisa Hendren at 910-843-5171 during the day or at 910-734-2794 at night, or Smith at 910-734-9792.
The forecast for Friday and Saturday is mid-80 temps to the 90s during the day, and a slight chance of a thunderstorm rolling by.
The Golden Knights parachute team out of Fort Bragg was to perform, but organizers found out today that the team could not perform.
Reach T.C. Hunter at 910-816-1974.