The public is invited to the 11th annual Ellis County Relay for Life scheduled for Friday, June 8, at the Maypearl High School football field.

“Bring the family and enjoy the fun and exciting things happening at Relay,” said Mary Ruth Mitchell, co-chair for this year’s event. “We will have a great DJ playing your favorite music all night long, volleyball, basketball, sack races, balloon toss and karaoke. We have a Disney character look-a-like contest planned, a cakewalk, bingo, a dunking booth and kiddy land with bounce houses, face painting, hair painting, a craft booth and much more. There will be prizes for the small ones for the bean bag toss and many other fun games.

“Other fun events taking place during the event include a silent auction featuring great items. Bidding will close at 9:55 p.m. and the winning bids will be announced during the midnight madness event,” she said. “The Relay store will have fun items for sale and will also allow team members to spend coupons they earn for the dollar amount of donations brought in.”

A concession stand will be open all night and two local medical massage practitioners will be on hand for massages for a small donation.

Mitchell urges all survivors to participate in the survivors lap even if they have not signed up prior to the event.

Survivors should arrive at the event at 6:30 p.m. and stop by the survivor’s tent to register and enjoy the refreshments. The survivor’s lap kicks off the evening at 7.

The luminary ceremony begins at 10, at which time all lights in the football stadium are turned off and about 4,000 candles are lit in honor or in memory of cancer victims. Local pastors will lead prayer and music will be included in the ceremony.

“Volunteers are needed throughout the event,” Mitchell said. “We need volunteers for the concession stand, to fill luminary bags, for valet service, raffle ticket sales, liddy land, bingo and clean up on Saturday following the event.”

Domino’s Pizza will provide pizzas for all team members at midnight, and James Hardie Building Products will sell raffle tickets for a playhouse shaped like a castle and an adult-sized wooden rocking horse.

Farley Street Baptist Church teams will sell raffle tickets for a 16-foot trailer and the Kaye’s Krusaders team will raffle off a “meal for eight with all the trimmings prepared at your home.”

Mitchell said she is excited about this year’s team participation.

“We have 52 registered teams,” she said. “We have raised $28,743.34 in sponsor money and $109,539.67 in team money.

“We want to express our sincere thanks to coach Mike Farda and the Maypearl Independent School District for hosting the 2007 Relay for Life event. We appreciate their support very much,” Mitchell said. “The Relay for Life Committee members are working hard to make this the best Relay ever. We hope you will drop by Maypearl High School and enjoy the fun with us.”

For more information about Relay or to volunteer, contact Mitchell at (972) 938-8559 or (214) 534-9973.