Midlothian is fighting cancer in the country this weekend

Midlothian will host Relay For Life on Friday at the Walnut Grove Middle School track facility east of town. The event begins as the sun goes down and lasts all night.

Midlothian has hosted past Relay for Life events at the Midlothian High School track in town with hundreds gathering for the all-night fight against cancer. This will mark the second year Relay will be held in the cool Texas country breeze east of town.

And there is still time to donate to a team and join the fun. For details contact Midlothian Relay for Life co-chairs Jimmy and Shannon Beaudoin at (972) 723.2407.

“The opening ceremony is at 7 p.m. and it lasts until 7 a.m. the next morning,” said Shannon Beaudoin. “We are encouraging the community to come out for an hour or two and join in the fun.”

Relay For Life is the signature fundraiser for The American Cancer Society. The occasion originally began in 1985 with only one participant, Dr. Gordy Klatt. Since that time it has grown into a national event that raises millions of dollars for research, treatment and education about cancer.

While Midlothian has hosted past Relay For Life events for Ellis County, this will be the third Relay solely planned, walked and proceeds solicited by Midlothian residents.

Two years ago Midlothian Relay For Life raised approximately $80,000. Beaudoin said Relay has already collected $103,000 from corporate sponsors with a goal of $115,000.

Midlothian Relay For Life begins Friday night with the invocation and the singing of The National Anthem.

Awards will be presented to top local sponsors, followed by the survivors lap, team introduction and photos as well as the bandana lap for those team members who raised $100 or more.

Relay is a family oriented, community event. Teams will compete in a variety of “fun”-raising events throughout the night. Walkers will be on the track earning pledges until the wee hours of the morning.

Teams consist of from 8 to 15 members and each team pays a registration fee of $100. Teams will have fundraisers and compete to see who will raise the most funds.

Cancer survivors are invited to take the first lap around the track. This event is known as the Survivor’s Lap and is one of the most emotional and thrilling events of Relay. Participants receive a reception along with a purple survivor shirt.

“We are always looking for survivors to get involved with Relay,” said Beaudoin. “We encourage survivors to register but we also encourage them to just show up and walk to show others cancer can be beat.”

Another top draw for Relay For Life is the barbecue dinner with all the fixins. The menu will be posted at the track and all proceeds go directly to fighting cancer.

The evening’s entertainment will include live music, DJ’s, contests, oversized bounce houses and much, much more.

All Relay For Life participants are asked to make Registration their first stop of the afternoon.

Luminarias are another Relay For Life trademark ceremony and it begins at 10 p.m.

Luminarias are white bags with a votive candle secured at the bottom and the name of a person listed on the outside. The ceremony sees the lights of the stadium turned off and a quiet time to reflect on those who have had cancer.

Luminarieas can be purchased in honor or in memory of loved ones who have battled cancer for $5.

The community is asked to follow FM 1387 east of town and turn left on Walnut Grove Road. Look for the stadium lights and hundreds of people having fun while they raise money to fight cancer.