Holt Journal staff writer
The Relay For Life of Holt will be celebrating its ninth year this June. The 24-hour cancer awareness marathon will take place from 1 p.m. June 21 to 1 p.m. June 22 on the Holt High School football field.
Sarah Evitts, community representative for the American Cancer Society, said there are big goals this year for the event.
“Last year, we raised $65,000 in the fight against cancer and celebrated the lives of over 90 cancer survivors,” she said. “This year, our goal is to raise $72,000 and celebrate with 100 survivors.”
Ginny Holcomb, the mission delivery chair on the Relay For Life of Holt committee, has served as a Relay For Life volunteer for six years. A two-time cancer survivor, Holcomb is pleased with the growth and support she has seen for this event.
“It’s grown tremendously since I’ve been involved,” Holcomb said. “Hundreds of people come out on the day of the event to show their support in the fight against cancer. Since it is a 24-hour event, we come up with fun games to play, hold a silent auction and have bake sales and concession sales in order to keep people active and participating.”
Gail Hayhoe, promotions chair on the committee, writes articles for the Holt Community News to promote relay, and goes to the Holt Farmers Market every Saturday to try to raise money and invite people to the event.
Hayhoe is hoping that Relay For Life of Holt will set a record this year in the amount of teams that participate.
“We already have 19 teams signed up for this event and are hoping to get at least 38, surpassing last year’s total of 36 teams,” Hayhoe said.
She wants people to know that they do not have to be on an organized family, school or religious team to participate in the event.
“It is a misconception that you have to be on a team to participate. You don’t have to. There is no admission fee, no parking fee, so we encourage people to come out and support this cause in any way they can,” she said. “Whether it’s buying concessions, or participating in games, anybody can make a difference.”
Holcomb and Hayhoe said the most moving part of the event is the Luminary Ceremony, in which they sell white paper bags that people decorate in honor of either a cancer survivor or someone who has just passed away. Then, when it gets dark, these bags are lit with candles and placed around the football field.
Holcomb is adamant about seeing a record crowd at the ninth annual Relay For Life of Holt.
“I really encourage people to come to Holt this year for the excellent cause,” she said. “They can grab a bite to eat, do some fun activities, and pick up some information if they need help with where to go for treating cancer.”