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Relay for Life of Florence County kickoff held

January 29, 2019 GMT

FLORENCE, S.C. – The annual Relay for Life of Florence County will mark its 25th anniversary this year. A kickoff celebration was held Monday night at the Eddie Floyd Conference Center on the Carolinas Hospital System to plan the special event.

Approximately 50 people attended, including survivors from one year to 40 years. Caregivers, family friends, team members and leader were there to join in celebrating “25 years of saving lives, celebrating lives and leading the fight for a world without cancer.”

Kimberly Davis, the event leader for the 2019 Relay for Life of Florence County, was joined by Chinel Boateng, senior community development manager with the American Cancer Society, in kicking off the 2019 Relay for Life.

They announced the figures from the 2018 Relay for Life, which surpassed the goal of $142,000. They raised a total of $156,977.

Boateng announced a goal of $155,000 for 2019. She said expects to surpass this goal, too.

She said they want to get as many people to be a part of this year’s celebration as possible and is inviting everyone who has ever participated in Relay for Life of Florence County to join in the event. She said 150 turned out last year, and she is hoping to double that number this year.

She urged team leaders to register survivors early so she will have plenty of survivor T-shirts on hand.

This year’s theme in keeping with the silver anniversary will be Past, Present and Future. The relay will return to a 12-hour event from 6 p.m. on April 12 to 6 a.m. on April 13, and it will be held at Freedom Florence Recreational Complex.

The opening ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. with the survivors/caregivers/team lap starting at 6:20 p.m.

The luminaria ceremony will be held at midnight. Boateng said there will be a lot going on after midnight and encouraged teams to make plans to stay the entire night.

“Our goal is to have someone from every team on the track at all times,” Boateng said.

The closing ceremony will start at 5:45 a.m. Breakfast will be served to those who remain to 6 a.m.

Two new fun events are the wrapping paper outfit fashion show and the Lip Sync Battle.

One of their fundraisers in December is wrapping gifts at the mall for Christmas. This past Christmas they collected a little over $11,000 in donations.

To celebrate this accomplishment, Boateng said they are going to have a wrapping paper fashion show the night of the relay. Each team is instructed to make an outfit out of wrapping paper using only tape, glue or staples to hold it together. There will be a runway fashion show with a panel of judges deciding the winning outfit. There will also be a People’s Choice award based on $1 votes. Voting is allowed prior to the event and one hour after the fashion show.

Lip sync battle contestants will not only be judged on their lip sync talent but on their dance moves as well.

Prizes will be given for the Best Decorated Camp Site, Most Spirited Team, Most Participants Present and others.

Boateng said the Most Spirited Team award will be judged on the teams’ participation all night. The winning team must stay until the end.

The next Relay for Life meeting will be held Feb. 18 at the Floyd Conference Center. The March 18 meeting will be held upstairs in the Medical Mall B building at Carolinas Hospital. Anyone interested in organization at team or participating on a team is invited.

For more information, contact Kimberly Davis at kad773@gmail.com or 843-250-7151