Relay for Life returns for 21st year

Published 4:58 pm Tuesday, May 2, 2017

UPDATE: Relay for Life has been postponed due to weather.

For 21 years, residents have come together to support cancer survivors and honor those who have passed.

Relay for Life of Beaufort and Hyde counties is an annual event that draws out every emotion — happiness, sadness, thoughtfulness, but most importantly, hopefulness. Relay for Life will return to Festival Park in Washington for its second year in the new location.

“We’ll have every emotion you’ve ever had out at Relay,” organizer Carol West said. “It’s a community that comes together. These are teams from all over Beaufort County that have just picked up the torch, and they’re going right on and raising money for cancer research and better treatment options.”

Kicking off the event at 6 p.m. is the well-known survivors lap to honor those who have been touched by the disease in some way. Captain America will make an appearance around 6:30 p.m. for children participating in the survivors lap.

West said the event will feature food and craft vendors and entertainment by Pamlico Sound Machine, as well as a scavenger hunt, games, face painting and superhero costume contest for children. Dr. Don Phipps, Beaufort County Schools superintendent, and Mark Doane, assistant superintendent, will compete to see who can raise the most money at the dunking booths.

“It’s going to be fun,” West said. “We just invite everybody to come out and participate and cheer on our survivors.”

Toward the end of the event, around 9 p.m., participants can then light luminaries in honor of loved ones who have faced and who are facing cancer. It’s a more somber, but meaningful way to remind them of why Relay for Life works to raise money.

“What I like to say is each candle has a name,” West said. “It keeps us focused on why we’re out there.”

Last year’s event raised $109,359, and 311 survivors were registered. West said this year’s numbers are similar to those last year, and there are 29 teams registered for Friday so far.

To register, visit, scroll down and select “Join This Relay.” For more information, call Carol Rose at 252-945-9528.