By Kathi Bliss
Hundreds of Lockhart and Caldwell County residents will be fighting for life this weekend.
The fight begins on Saturday afternoon when 20 teams and nearly 300 participants gather at Lockhart City Park for the 12th Annual Relay for Life of Caldwell County. The overnight fitness-and-fun event is the capstone fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, and one of the largest and broadest-based community support events on the Caldwell County calendar.
Organizers said this year’s event will be bigger and more special than ever, as the event has been moved away from the Lockhart ISD campuses and to the City Park, which will allow more space for fundraising booths and allow children to play on the grass and playground equipment while they take a break from walking laps to raise money for cancer research.
As in past years, Relay for Life will begin with opening ceremonies on Saturday at 6 p.m., with a welcome from organizers and special recognitions. As the walking begins, cancer survivors take center stage with the touching and heartwarming “Survivors’ Lap.” The second lap of the night symbolically invites caregivers and families to join the fight with their cancer survivors, reminding them that they never have to walk alone. Then, the “Parade of Teams” begins, inviting everyone else to join the fight against cancer.
Throughout the 12-hour event, teams will have games and fundraising food and beverage booths set up throughout the park, giving those who are not registered for the walk itself to participate by playing, eating and donating their money to help fund the fight for, as the American Cancer Society says, “More Birthdays.”
At 9 p.m., the Luminaria Ceremony will begin. Luminarias are purchased in honor and in memory of the men, women and children – mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, grandchildren and friends – who have fought the battle against cancer… those who are winning, and those who have lost.
Throughout the night, additional activities geared toward fun, fitness and fighting cancer will take place, including live music and dancing, games such as a horseshoe tournament, a “cheese ball toss,” and a dancing and karaoke contest.
At 5:30 a.m., the Final Lap will begin, and the event will culminate at 5:45 a.m. as the Closing and Award Ceremonies begins.
Donations are still being accepted by all teams, and luminarias can be purchased and dedicated until 8:45 p.m. on Saturday.
For information or to make a donation, find Caldwell County Relay for Life on Facebook, or visit www.relayforlife.org/lockharttx.