Relay for Life

Polly Cottom talks about the upcoming Relay for Life during the recent Chamber of Commerce luncheon. (Photo by Johnny McMahan)

“The reason why Relay for Life is important to me and why I enjoy being in it and participating is because it was really important to my mom. She struggled with cancer and end up passing away. But it was pretty much throughout my whole childhood that she had cancer. So I was just really affected by her, her cancer, and her life,” Taylor Farley shared about her mother, Mindy Harris.

“The Survivor Lap, we went pretty much every year, and walking the survivor lap with her, with my cousins, and my uncle who also survived cancer, and my grandparents was just really special,” Farley added.

Relay for Life of Northwest Oklahoma is gearing up for the yearly fundraising event for the American Cancer Society. Luminarias are available in honor of someone fighting cancer, a survivor, or in memory of a loved one who lost the battle with cancer. Pinwheels to thank a caregiver are also available. These items can be purchased for a donation of $5 to $10 each. 

According to the American Cancer Society, they have invested more than $4.8 billion in cancer research since 1946 and Relay For Life is their signature fundraiser.

On Friday, June 28, things will kick off at the Woodward County Event Center with a hamburger feed at 4 p.m. Various teams from around the area will have items for sale at booths and a chair silent auction will open for bids. 

“We’re auctioning off decorated chairs,” said Polly Cottom, with the Relay for Life committee. “The teams are all bringing a chair that they’ve decorated.”

The opening ceremony will begin at 5:30 and end with pictures at 6:30, followed by Fun Laps around the event center. The Fun Laps are game type themed laps including the themed color lap. 

“They walk with something representing the color ribbon that identifies with the cancer diagnosis they are walking for,” Cottom said. “Our theme this year is A Cure for Every Color.”

According to Cottom, other Fun Laps will include crazy hat and crazy shoe lap, Cotton Eyed Joe lap, Bunny Hop lap and Super Hero lap Prizes will be given judged according to most creative participants.

“We will also give a prize at the end of the night to the person that completed the most laps,” Cottom said. “They will be determined by the person that collects the most beads. If they come to the bead station they will get one to add to a string for every lap they complete.”

After the teams get pictures taken, the big purple Relay for Life blow up chair will be available for families to take their own pictures, according to Cottom.

OnStage Woodward will provide entertainment followed by the luminarias ceremony.

At 9:15 the chair silent auction and gun raffle winners will be announced and awards will be presented with the final Fun Laps and closing ceremony ending the night at 10 p.m.

For more information or to donate for a luminary or pinwheel in someone’s name, contact Polly Cottom at 580-334-4172.