Scenes from last year's Relay For Life
By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times
Tonight, Hugoton will once again play host to the Stevens County Relay For Life, but former chairman Lisa Nelson said this year’s cancer research fundraiser will take place in just a slightly new venue.
“It’s at the Hugoton Recreation Building this year,” she said. “We’re inside.”
That move comes after many years at the Hugoton football field. This year’s relay kicks off with supper starting at 6 and opening ceremonies at 7.
“We have a barbecue supper which is in the concession stand with walking tacos, a popcorn bar, cotton candy, nachos, ice chest tea,” Nelson said.
Mariah Romey, a favorite at the Stevens County relay, will also be back this year performing hula hoop tricks for the crowd. Nelson said this is just some of the fun those on hand can have throughout the night.
“We’ve got lots of games going on during the evening,” she said. “There is a volleyball tournament starting at 9:30. We’ve got eight teams in that already. The brackets have been made, so you can watch volleyball.”
Nelson said that is the activities for just one of the rec building’s two gyms.
“In the other gym will be all the activities going on,” she said. “We’ll have karaoke. We’ve got a couple of games going on. One is called ‘Theme Song Ping Pong.’ We’ve got cup stacking, which is a big thing with the grade school kids. There’ll be a photo booth, a fashion booth. There’ll be some craft making.”
The theme for this year’s relay is “Dr. Seuss: One Wish, Two Wish, I Wish, You Wish For a Cure,” and Nelson explained the reasoning behind the move to an inside venue.
“We decided just to try a new look and see if it enticed more people to come because it’s air conditioned,” she said. “We won’t have to battle the wind and the horrible, horrible heat.”
The goal for this year’s Stevens County relay is to raise $31,000 for cancer research, and Nelson said some of that money has already been raised.
“Our mini-relay at our grade school brought in over $7,000,” she said. “We’ve had our Halloween carnival. We had a pink out.”
And tonight’s event will not be the end of fundraising for this year, according to Nelson.
“There’s a large country concert in August,” she said. “Part of those proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society also. It is Aug. 16 in Hugoton at the fairgrounds. We’ll get credit for that too.”
Nelson said everyone is invited to the concert, and she said that money raising effort will be huge.
“Charlie Jenkins is the opening act, and there’ll be three or four other bands with them,” she said.
Nelson added while it is too late to form teams for tonight’s relay, everyone is still welcome to come to Hugoton to help reach the fundraising goal.
“As far as getting a Relay For Life shirt, those are not available at this time,” she said though. “If somebody comes in and raises $100, we’d certainly buy them a shirt. All survivors are welcome.”