MIDLOTHIAN — The annual Midlothian Relay For Life is set for Friday, May 20, from 7 p.m. through 7 a.m. Saturday, May 21, at Don Floyd Field.

The theme for this year’s event is “Celebrate,” which encompasses the goal of every Relay participant – to celebrate the struggles and victories of cancer survivors and the lives of those whose valiant battles were lost to the disease. The event benefits the American Cancer Society.

To date, there are 359 registered participants making up 33 teams for the Midlothian Relay.

“Our event goal is set for $90,000, but I am hoping we see $100,000,” Felest Ingersoll, event chair, said.

The community-wide event will offer food vendors and entertainment with evening activities including a cake-decorating contest, silent auction, Relay Idol and “Misster” Relay where a male member from each team has to dress up as a woman and solicit donations from the crowd, Ingersoll said. At dark, participants will light luminarias around the track in a touching ceremony to recognize survivors and friends and family members lost to cancer. A new touch this year will be a streaming video of photographs to honor or memorialize those affected by cancer.

“We will have an amazing DJ that will keep us going throughout the night and we will have the Midlothian High School Pantherettes entertaining us as well,” Ingersoll said. “Plus, Tamara Jolee Metcalfe will be the 2011 grand marshal.”

A reception and dinner for registered survivors and caretakers will take place at 6 p.m., before the start of the Relay, and will include gifts and door prizes for attendees. Dinner participants should arrive at 5:30 p.m.

“The survivors are the reason for Relay. We invite them to come out and bring a caretaker. They may have lost their survivor, but once a caretaker always a caretaker,” Pam Phipps, coordinator for survivors and caretakers, said.

Phipps said they strive to make the event bigger and better each year and recognized the important role of caretakers.

“I Relay because my hope and prayer is that, sometime in the near future, no mother will ever again have to hear the words, ‘Your child has cancer,’ ” Ingersoll said. “That’s why I Relay.”

For information about the Midlothian Relay For Life, visit www.relayforlife.org/MidlothianTX.

To become a sponsor or make a donation, contact Donna Collins at 469-449-7293 or Sheila Lock at 214-642-2285 sponsorship chairs; for team information call team chair, Betty Lucas, at 214-770-8749; to register survivors and caretakers, call survivor chair, Pam Phipps, at 972-742-6388; and for event information, contact event chair, Felest Ingersoll, at 972-672-9359.

The Central Ellis County Relay For Life will also be held May 20-21 at the Waxahachie Sports Complex.

Contact Rebecca at rebecca.hertz@wninews.com or call 469-517-1451.