Relay For Life



CORBIN, Ky. - The Corbin/Tri-County Relay For Life will be conducted this coming Friday evening and early Saturday morning at Corbin Speedway, marking 20 years of the benefit event for the American Cancer Society.

      "We'll have booths, games and inflatables for the kids, including an obstacle course, and all kinds of activity in addition to the walk," commented Mrs. Lynda Meadows, a spokeswoman for the event.

      Booths manned by representatives of local merchants and organizations will offer food and other items, she noted, and raffles will also be conducted.

      The Christmobile, a Chevrolet Monte Carlo which will compete in the Late Model Division during Saturday night's regular race program at the local track, will be on display, and several souvenir Christmobile items will be included as raffle prizes.  The car and prizes are being made available by Gary Sturdivant, president of the JC Racing Team of Cincinnati.  David Fields of Richmond, Ky. is the team's driver for 2005.

      One of the more popular attractions for racing fans will be a dunking booth, with Corbin Speedway race drivers to be in the "hot" seat.

      "This is an event for everyone who wants to help in the fight against Cancer," remarked John E. Davis, owner and General Manager of Corbin Speedway, "but we expect this particular item to be very attractive to many of our race fans.  They'll be getting the chance to dunk their favorite driver, or maybe his rivals.  It should be fun.  We have made the track available for this event because we're part of this community, and every one of us has been touched in some way by Cancer.  Our participants live with risk every time they take their cars onto the track, but everyone runs the risk of someday having to fight back against Cancer."

      Activities will get underway with the Survivors' Celebration, honoring area survivors of Cancer.  One of those will be Mrs. Meadow herself, who was diagnosed with Cancer for the first time in 1987 and again in 2001.

      "By the grace of God and supporting family and friends, along with research made possible from events like the Relay For Life, I'm here today to ask everyone to join me on Friday, May 20 at Corbin Speedway for our annual Relay for Life event.

      The relay itself will begin at 7:00 p.m., with survivors walking the first lap.  Teams will then begin walking around the quarter-mile paved oval and continue until 7:00 a.m. on Saturday morning.  A total of 21 teams had signed up at this article's press time.

      "It has to be an all-night event," Mrs. Meadows explained, "because Cancer never sleeps.  There's no finish line until a cure is found."

      A highlight of the event will be the luminaria ceremony scheduled for 10:00 p.m.

      Anyone may purchase a luminaria (a lighted candle inside a paper bag) for a suggested minimum donation of $5.00, and have it marked as a memorial to a family member or friend lost to Cancer.  The luminarias will line the inside of the track from 10:00 p.m. on.

      "This is a fun-filled overnight activity that celebrates survival of Cancer and memorializes those who lost their lives to Cancer, and in turn raise funds for the fight against this dreaded disease," Mrs. Meadows said.  "Everyone is invited to attend and take part in this event to support the fight against Cancer."

      The Relay For Life is an American Cancer Society signature activity.

      Teams are welcome to bring grills, it was added.  Pets may accompany walkers and spectators, but must be kept on a leash.  No skateboards or rollerblades will be allowed.

      Information from the American Cancer Society noted that the Relay For Life beginning as the sun is setting symbolizes the time when a patient is diagnosed with Cancer.  The day is getting darker and this represents the patients' state of mind.  As the evening gets colder and darker, so do the emotions of the Cancer patients.  The period from around 1:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m. represents the time when the Cancer patients begin treatment.  They become exhausted, some not wanting to go on, possibly wanting to give up.  Participants have been walking and feel much the same way.  They are tired, want to sleep, maybe even want to go home, but they cannot stop or give up.

      From around 4:00 a.m. until 5:00 a.m. symbolizes the coming of the end of treatment for the Cancer patients.  Once again they are tired, but they know they will make it.  The sun rising represents the end of treatment.  Patients see the light at the end of the tunnel and know that life will go on.  The morning light brings on a new day full of life and excitement, new beginnings.

      Additional information may be obtained by contacting Mrs. Meadows at (606) 528-6390, (606) 524-3406, (606) 528-8306, or by e-mail at