Relay for Life set for June 18, 19
Ready... set... fight cancer

Wanda English Burnett

The festivities of Relay for Life have grown in monumental proportions from the first event held more than 25 years ago in Tacoma, Washington - but the message is the same: fighting cancer.

Dr. Craig George of Health Centered Chiropractic in Versailles, was involved in the first relay, which was just a running event then. "It was a lot different than now,” he told The Versailles Republican. But, it was still a 24-hour event, even though it was just a run. He participated with his brothers, and some friends, and his future wife.

Dr. George noted that they were supposed to have 15 on the team, but when the time came, there was just a handful who truly participated. He was dating his now wife, Tonya, and she volunteered to help his team. “I knew right then I wanted her to be my wife,” he joked. Tonya will be giving the opening speech on Saturday morning and Dr. George will be giving a speech later in the afternoon during the Fight Back Ceremony.
Being health conscious has always been a priority for the Versailles chiropractor, who still participates in the Relay for Life events today. He believes being healthy is one key to helping to limit diseases such as cancer.

The first relay that Dr. George participated in has bitter-sweet memories. He had lost a sister in a tragic accident, and was running in her memory. He told The Versailles Republican it was a rough time, but the event held a healing power. He noted that all the candles were lit in honor of loved ones much as it is today when the Luminaria Ceremony is held.

The money raised from the Relay for Life event is used to make a difference in people’s lives, noted Dr. George. While he has a prior commitment this year, he still told his friend Carla Stenger he was willing to “fill in” on her team, the Spencer Tyson Running Club.

The event is set for Saturday and Sunday, June 18 and 19 at the Batesville High School track area. From the opening ceremony at 8 a.m. on Saturday until the closing ceremony begins almost 24 hours later, the time is filled with a variety of events.

This year wristbands can be purchased for just $5.00 for children to participate in all of the kids’ activities on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

After the opening ceremony on Saturday at 8 a.m. there will be a silent auction that will begin at 9 a.m. The auction will continue until 3 p.m.

At 11 a.m. the Little Mr. and Miss Ripley County Relay Contest will be held with children from all over the county participating. You won’t want to miss their candid answers as they will be interviewed by Wanda English Burnett, editor of the Osgood Journal and The Versailles Republican. The newspaper is also a sponsor of the event.

There will be a car show, Road to Recovery Race, purse auction, awards ceremony and so much more. The Luminaria Ceremony will be held at 9 p.m. This is a time of reflection and renewal as loved ones are remembered and others get a refreshed spirit to continue the fight.

At midnight there will be a Dude Looks Like a Lady or Lady Looks Like a Dude event, followed by Relay’s Got Talent, and a Rooster Crowing contest at 6 a.m.

Dr. George’s motto when running in the first Relay event was “Let’s do it - let’s win it,” and their team did. He had to run several extra laps that he said about “killed” him, but they did it. That’s the same determination that is seen today as the groups gather to raise money. They follow their theme: Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back.

Rita Seig and Jenny Morris are the co-chairs of this year’s event. They invite you to come out on Saturday and see the many activities and become a part of something that will help future generations.