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Pulling an all-nighter

Relay for Life committee focuses on details for Friday event

Mari Katherine Raftopoulos
Vicki McPhail, left, recognizes Pauline Hillard with a hug and a plaque at Relay for Life in Rangely last year. This year marks the first time Relay for Life takes place in Craig.
Courtesy Photo

— “We miss you more everyday.”

“I love you.”

Hearts.

Flowers.

These are some of the phrases and drawings that have turned more than 550 plain white lunch sacks into luminarias – candle-lit bags that will line the track at Craig’s first American Cancer Society Relay For Life.

The event starts Friday evening, with team members walking throughout the night until Saturday afternoon, as a fundraiser in the fight against cancer.

With less than a week to go, relay luminaria chair Carla Alexander is impressed with the increase of luminaria sales within the last month.

“Luminaries sales have been tremendous,” Alexander said. “Right now we are getting all of the luminaries ready for the ceremony.”

Alexander has taken luminaria decorating to the next level.

After seeing the extravagant bags decorated by the local 4-H state-to-state group, Alexander was inspired.

“The 4-H kids did a amazing job decorating the luminary bags and were such an inspiration to me,” Alexander said. ” I took the luminary bags a step beyond and started putting a little piece of my heart into it.”

Relay for Life chair Elisa Hayes also is impressed with the interest in luminaria sales.

“People are going gung-ho for the luminarias,” Hayes said. “Just the other day we had someone purchase three luminarias for $300.”

Luminaria sales are just one portion of the fundraising activities for an event Hayes hopes to make an annual occurenece.

Through fundraising and donations, this year’s event has raised an estimated $31,000.

This figure is $11,000 above the original goal of $20,000.

But those big figures do not cancel out the little things that go into putting on the relay.

With two days remaining until the Relay, Hayes is focusing on the details.

“It is the little details like getting trash cans around the track and ice for the soda that you look past at the beginning,” Hayes said.

“I never realized as a participant how big of a job it is to be a chair of an event.”

Alexander agrees these little things will make the event run smoothly.

“Getting the final, small details will make the big things come together,” Alexander said.

The Relay for Life committee is looking for any volunteers.

“We are at a shortage for volunteers,” Alexander said. “Anybody can help out with setting up, cleaning up and the parking situation, even if you only have an hour, we could use your help.”

Those who wish to join the relay as a participant still have the chance to create a team or join an existing team.

People also can donate money to the cause, as well as purchase luminarias.

For more information or to volunteer, call Hayes at 824-6574.


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