Don’t miss the Relay fun Friday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The 1996 Relay for Life in the Miss-Lou raised $27,180, had 22 teams and drew crowds in the hundreds.

Not bad for the first year.

But Friday night, when the luminaries are lit, the number will be something to the tune of $200,000, 50 teams and thousands of people.

The Miss-Lou Relay for Life is one of the best-planned, most-organized successes in our community.

The numbers tell the tale.

Though those numbers are certainly great, the only way to measure the true impact of Relay is by the faces.

Friday night will come with highs and lows for many participants.

Fun is a definite, with food, games and even line dancing to keep the participants awake all night.

But for so many of us, Relay won’t pass without moments of sorrow.

Luminary bags surrounding the track, the wall of names and a few quiet moments will remind us all of those we’ve lost.

And the inspiring survivors’ lap will send waves of encouragement through all who watch.

It’s simply a night not to be missed.

Relay has become one of my favorite nights of the year. I love the atmosphere and the culmination of so much hard work for so many community members.

And I also love moving my office right into the party.

Just like we have in years past, our staff will produce the front page of the newspaper from the Relay site.

We’ll have a tent on the circle, complete with screen and projector. While our staff downloads photos and builds the front page, passersby will be able to watch.

We’ll start with a blank slate at nightfall and finish the night with all the news from Relay — and anything else that happens that day.

It’s your chance to truly see tomorrow’s news today!

We’ve become accustomed to the Relay work environment, and we don’t expect it to be quiet.

We’d love to have you stop by and watch, wave and say a few words, but if we look harried, remember we are on deadline.

By 11 p.m. we have to be done with the newspaper to allow time for printing.

A few of us will leave the site in order to make sure our pressmen have what they need to run the presses.

Then, shortly after midnight, we’ll come back with a few newspapers for the night owls.

So stop by and see us. While the newsroom staff works, other employees led by our great team captain Cassie Strickland will be selling T-shirts for $15 each. Our shirts bear our “Flocking for a Cure” logo and those adorable pink flamingos you’ve seen sprouting up all over town.

If you got flocked, or flocked a friend, make sure you buy a shirt to remember the occasion.

We will also be selling flamingo lapel pins that blink neon colors for $2 each.

Our team is fast approaching our $2,500 goal, but we need your help to get there.

It’s not too late to place an order for a flock of flamingos. Just call 601-445-3617 today.

And make sure to bring by your extra pennies by for our penny drive.

But whether you bring your money to the newspaper or to one of the 50 other teams participating, remember the cause.

No donation is too small when fighting a beast like cancer.

Fifteen years in the Miss-Lou has shown what a $5 here and $20 there can do. From $27,180 to $249,921, with thousands upon thousands of dollars in between, the Miss-Lou Relay for Life makes a difference.

Come Friday night; be a part of the fun, the emotion and the cure.

Julie Cooper is the managing editor of The Natchez Democrat. She can be reached at 601-445-3551 or julie.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.