Volunteers ready to Relay for Life

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 17, 2000

VIDALIA, La. — Plenty of volunteers go the extra mile to organize the Miss-Lou’s annual Relay for Life — or, in the case of Jerry and Elizabeth Clabaugh, 420 extra miles.

That’s how far the Texas couple, parents of breast cancer survivor Charlene Rushing of Vidalia, drive each year to sell barbecue sandwiches at the relay to raise money for Relay for Life.

&uot;It’s great how the whole community pulls together for this,&uot;&160;said Jerry Clabaugh, adding that all his ingredients are donated by local businesses and individuals.

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At 7 p.m. Friday the Clabaughs will join other participants, including 38 walking teams, at this year’s relay, which will be held on Vidalia’s riverfront, just south of the Mississippi River bridge. The event will end at 7 a.m. Saturday.

Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society’s biggest fundraiser, with last year’s Miss-Lou event raising more than $45,000.

That money helps fund such things as cancer research and screenings, counseling for patients and paying for, and transporting patients to, cancer treatments.

Teams actually raise the money before hand through a variety of fund raisers and then gather to walk at the relay.

Besides raising funds to fight cancer, the relay also serves as a time to honor both cancer survivors and those who haven’t survived.

At 6 p.m. Friday, a reception and barbecue chicken dinner will be held at the relay site for cancer survivors. And at 9:30 p.m., a luminary service will be held and the names of cancer sufferers will be read.

The event will also include plenty of entertainment. The band Legacy and soloist Jason Ellington will perform at this year’s relay. There will be special activities to keep participants awake from midnight until 6 a.m., including a dance contest and a mummy wrap contest.

And raffles will be held for such prizes as a seven-day cruise for two and a Monmouth dinner and overnight stay for two.

For children, there will be balloon rides, a dunking booth, a space walk, pony rides and other activities for children.

But throughout all the fun, the Clabaughs stay focused on the main reason they are there.

&uot;Raising money for cancer research and honoring those who have survived cancer and those who haven’t survived — that’s what (the relay) is all about,&uot;&160;Jerry Clabaugh said.

To make donations or for more information about the relay, call 446-6955 or (877) 446-6955.