GLEN ROSE – There is an old adage claiming change not to always be a bad thing. With that in mind, this year’s Somervell County Relay for Life has a new and improved twist.
Breast cancer survivor and resident of Granbury, Shannon Samuelson, has put together a new Relay for Life event, Stick a Fork in Cancer.
“We are still going to have the walking. The reason we decided to do something different and have a different concept is that we know in the smaller communities that the money doesn’t always get left directly into the community,” explained Samuelson. “ I understand that, I totally get it.
“I wanted to do something new that would allow me to do that. With the help of my ACS lead, we came up with this new concept that we would charge vendors for a site and then ask them to donate a portion of their proceeds. Because we’re doing it that way, it has now allowed us to leave 10% of whatever we make at the relay to leave at Somervell County’s Cancer Support Group.”
According to the Relay for Life website, the event began in May 1985 when Dr. Gordy Klatt of Tacoma, Washington raised $27,000 in a 24-hour period. Friends of Klatt paid the colorectal surgeon $25 at a time to walk or run alongside the doctor for 30 minutes.
The website claims that nearly 300 of his friends participated in the 83-mile walk that year at Baker Stadium on the campus of the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma.
Samuelson had the idea to “re-vamp” the Relay for Life without leaving the original idea behind.
“I’ve been to a few of the relay events and they do a good job of getting people involved, but I think it is kind of age-oriented and sometimes it’s kind of dry for the younger kids and even families. They just don’t stay as long as they used to,” Samuelson noted. “The walking concept has unfortunately kind of depleted and it’s hard to keep people on the tracks.
“We came up with something new, “fun laps”, to keep them out there. Maybe like walking backwards a lap or skipping for a lap. In order to win in the drawings you must have a member from your team always on the track.”
This year’s festivities will not only entail “fun laps.” There will also be other additions for walkers and attendees, such as vendors from local restaurants offering samplings.
“We’re having two local bands there, 3 Rivers Shine, who are going on at 3 p.m. and Mike Daniels who is going on at 5 p.m. and playing for about four hours,” Samuelson said.
Samuelson wanted to appeal to the children at the event and set up a kid’s corner that includes a petting zoo and a few other fun activities.
“The kids corner is going to be a lot of fun. We’re going to have a bounce house, face painting and clowns. We’ve brought in the old carnival feel so we’re going to have a pie eating contest, a hot dog eating contest and a watermelon seed contest,” Samuelson told.
Both the fire department and police department will be there competing in a tug- of-war game.
“We just changed it a little, but we’re keeping the things that Relay for Life is known for. The real reason we’re there is to raise money to find a cure. We’ve vamped it up because we want to keep everybody there,” Samuelson added.
Stick a Fork in Cancer will take place Saturday June 25 from 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. at the Glen Rose Soccer Park. More information about the event can be found at www.RelayForLife.org/SomervellCoTX
Kelsey Poynor, @KPoynor_GRR
(254) 897- 2282