Relay honors lives touched by cancer, promotes awareness


This year’s Relay for Life of Jackson County may have a new location, but the event continues to bring together the community to help fight cancer.

Due to construction at Seymour High School’s track and field, the 2016 Relay for Life will be from 6 p.m. to midnight Friday at Seymour Middle School.

Organized teams and anyone just wanting to show support for those battling cancer, remember and honor loved ones who have died from the disease or celebrate with survivors are welcome to attend.

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Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. The event will be moved into the Seymour Middle School gymnasiums if it’s storming or pouring down rain.

Relay for Life raises money to help fund research and programs through the American Cancer Society. It also creates awareness of the many types of cancer with which people are diagnosed.

During the 2015 Relay for Life, Jackson County had 33 teams with 85 registered survivors and 325 registered participants. The event raised $56,060.91.

This year’s goal is to have 400 participants and raise at least $60,000.

So far, 23 teams with 241 people have signed up to walk. They have raised $32,300.

For six hours, participants will walk laps around the track, many of which include themes and games.

Go! Fight! CURE! is the overall theme for this year’s Relay for Life.

The opening ceremony begins at 6 p.m. and will be followed by laps for survivors and caregivers.

At 9:15 p.m., volunteers will light the HOPE Luminary, and the luminaria ceremony, honoring the memory of cancer patients, will be at 9:30 p.m.

Heidi Anthony of Seymour said she will be participating in Relay for Life for the first time this year as a tribute to a loved one.

“We have a team this year in memory of my aunt,” she said.

Team Deb is made up of friends and family of Debbie Black, who passed away of cervical cancer Sept. 20, 2014.

“We really wanted to raise awareness and help raise money for research,” Anthony said. “Cervical cancer, when detected early, is one of the most treatable cancers. Your chances of survival are much higher when detected early, so women shouldn’t be afraid to visit their gynecologist regularly.”

Julia Aker, longtime Relay for Life participant and publicity committee chairwoman, said many people’s hearts will be heavy Friday as they remember one of their own.

“We lost a member of our Relay family (Monday),” Aker said Tuesday. “Amy Siefker was a captain of the Walking for Love team last year, so a lot of us will be walking with her in mind.”

A cancer survivor herself, Aker said the biggest reason she is involved in the event is because she doesn’t want people to hear the words “you have cancer” anymore.

“Relay for Life of Jackson County is a family,” she said. “Most of us support the other teams in their fundraising since we all want to eliminate cancer.”

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What: 2016 Jackson County Relay for Life

When: 6 p.m. to midnight Friday

Where: Seymour Middle School track and field

Information: Visit or call Julia Aker at 812-216-2109

Schedule of events

9 a.m.: Gates open for team site set-up

6 p.m.: Opening ceremony followed by Survivors Lap and Caregivers Lap

6 to 7 p.m.: WJAA 96.3 live remote and Simply Chic hair extensions for $10

6 to 8 p.m.: The Pacers Fan Van with interactive fun, door prizes and photo opportunities

6:30 p.m.: Concessions open/Sponsor Recognition Lap/Team Pride Lap/frozen T-shirt contest

7 p.m.: Show Your Relay Spirit (sports apparel)

7:30 p.m: Backwards Lap

8 to 10 p.m.: Team Challenge Games and Minute to Win It

8 p.m.: Color a Cure (colors of cancer) and Why I Relay Sign Lap

8:15 p.m.: Power of Purple/Noisemaker Lap/Body Rock

8:30 p.m.: Bubbles of Hope Lap/5K Glow Run registration opens

9 p.m.: Flash mob dance to Cha-Cha Slide

9:15 p.m.: Lighting of HOPE Luminaria

9:30 p.m.: Luminaria ceremony (walking on track)

10:15 p.m.: Glow Lap (lap of celebration and remembrance with Why I Relay sign)

10:30 p.m.: 5K Glow Run

11:45 p.m.: Fight Back/Closing ceremony

Midnight: Clean-up/Breakdown and Packup Lap


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