Annual cancer relay set for Friday

Courtesy photo: Yolanda Hopkins Relay for Life kicks off Friday night at Ned Houk Park with a fundraising goal of $100,000.

Courtesy photo: Yolanda Hopkins
Relay for Life kicks off Friday night at Ned Houk Park with a fundraising goal of $100,000.

By Brooke Finch
Staff writer
bfinch@cnjonline.com

The 21st annual Clovis/Curry County Relay for Life has already collected about $21,000 in online donations, but that’s not even a quarter of the overall goal this year.

The 2016 Relay for Life will take place Friday at 6 p.m. and continue into Saturday until 6 a.m. at Ned Houk Park. The overnight walk and activities will benefit the American Cancer Society in the fight against cancer.

Planning Committee Member Marcy Anaya said this year’s relay will feature “Fear Factor” games, soap box car races, the return of the Miss Relay Pageant, a cornhole tournament and a first for the relay — a rubber duck race.

And there will be plenty of food to keep energy up through the night, including popcorn, hot dogs and s’mores.

About 83 teams and more than 670 participants have registered online so far.

“Our net total last year was $67,939,” Anaya said. “Our goal this year is $100,000 … we have ambitious goals. We’re not even close to that right now, but we’re hopeful.”

This year’s honorary chair is Ruby Hester. As a caregiver to her husband who’s a cancer survivor, Hester will give a speech at the relay.

Hester said being honorary chair this year is “awesome.”

“There’s no explanation,” Hester said. “I just feel like this is what God is leading me to do.”

Hester and her husband have participated in previous relays.

“My husband has been there the last three years supporting my mother-in-law who also had cancer,” Hester said.

Hester said this year she’s most looking forward to seeing everyone come together for the cause.

“Just seeing all the people walking the relay and giving their time and effort in trying to find a cure for cancer … There’s so many people affected by it (cancer) that it’s such a blessing for those that want to help out at the relay.”