Relay for Life set for Friday
Months of work: Envelope stuffing, campaigning, T-shirt selling, organizing and countless unnamed hours of busy work and meetings, and it all comes down to this Friday at the (now old) Watauga High School.
As Watauga Relay for Life co-chairs Sharon Trivette and Kathy Idol fold the final T-shirts for the 67 participating teams, the big day and the stress it brings aren't far from their minds.
"It's a big night," Trivette said.
After all, Friday's Relay for Life 2010 is the culmination of the efforts of about 800 High Country volunteers, and it's a big event, complete with a silent auction, bingo, live music and lots of laughter.
"I think sometimes people get the idea that it's a somber depressing thing, but it's really not ... it's a really fun atmosphere," she said.
The evening starts with an opening ceremony, headlined with a speech by WBTV morning news anchor John Carter, a cancer survivor.
"Right after that is the survivor lap ... which is probably the thing most people want to see ... everybody stands at the sides and cheers them on," Trivette said.
At 8 p.m., teams will parade the field.
"We try to get everyone on a team to walk one lap with their teams," she said.
The light show follows at 9 p.m.
"That's when we have our luminary service where we light all the luminary bags ... we take one silent lap ... it's really moving," Trivette said. "It's just a really great time to remember people who aren't there."
The rest of the event promises to be an overnight party celebrating survival, and campers at this year's Relay get a special treat: The ability to camp out on the actual football field at the old high school.
That's a particular perk for 15-year-old RFL activist (and Sharon Trivette's daughter) Tara Trivette. To her, Relay for Life is an annual tradition.
"I can't imagine not doing it," she said.
After all, for the Trivettes, RFL is an affair for the whole family.
"We got started back in 1995," Sharon Trivette said. "My father-in-law ... had lung cancer and lost his fight ... and the next year we formed a team and kept going from there."
Tara Trivette, recognized with an Outstanding Youth Leadership award a few years ago, was the first captain of her alma mater, Cove Creek Elementary School, and her younger brother is continuing that legacy this year.
"A lot of families come out," Sharon Trivette said.
And that's not all. Throw in churches, area businesses, organizations and other groups, and you've got 67 teams under one purpose: Raising money for the American Cancer Society. While it's seven less teams than last year, the community makes up for it with its diligence.
"Sometimes having less teams, if they're teams that really work hard and do something, is just as good as having more teams," she said, and this year's teams have worked incredibly hard.
Trivette says number totals will start coming in Friday night, and she's optimistic about the results.
Team captains came together Monday to pick up their shirts and turn in the money they've raised so far. There's a lot of work to do before Friday, setting up and talking to the press, but Trivette faces it optimistically, with years of co-chair experience to back her up.
As for first year chair Kathy Idol?
"It's been good so far," she said - so good, she's considering taking the job again next year.
Proceeds for Relay for Life go directly to the American Cancer Society ( http://www.cancer.org).
Watauga County Relay for Life kicks off Friday, June 18, at 7 p.m. with the opening ceremony, followed by the Survivor Lap and then the Luminary Ceremony at 9 p.m.