Special to the Reporter

The 2011 Relay For Life Somervell County event, which honors people who have had cancer, will kick off next Monday, Jan. 17, with a come-and-go event between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the La Quinta Inn on U.S. Highway 67.

This year marks three major changes for the Relay, said Shellee Seidl, committee chairperson.

First, there is no limit on team size. Team captains may add as many or as few members as they wish; previously, a team required eight to 15 members.

Second, Luminaria donations — the lighted candles inside white paper bags that outline the Relay walkway and cost $5 — received be a team may be counted on the total money that team collects.

And, for the first time, the Relay For Life fundraising event will be held on June 3 after the end of the school year.

The changes will be explained in detail at the kickoff. The event’s theme this year is “movies.” Anyone interested in fighting cancer is encouraged to attend and to wear Relay shirts or purple, the color of Relay For Life.

Team captains may register with Polly Clemens, reserve campsites, receive packets and set up team Web sites on available computers. The registration fee is $50 for the first team and $25 for additional teams.

Businesses, groups or individuals can be an event sponsor and reserve spaces on T-shirts, programs and banners. Team members and first-time walkers can sign up and learn more about the overnight Relay to be held June 3 at the Soccer Park.

“This would be the perfect time for anyone wanting to learn and participate to attend,” Seidl said. “You can learn how the event works, why we stay overnight and what makes it so special and so much fun that people come back each year.”

Pizza, beverages and desserts will be served, and drawings held for door prizes. Information about cancer and Relay For Life will be available from Robert Potts, American Cancer Society staff partner.

Luminarias may be reserved from Ashileen or Carlene Douglas. Bags can be customized with photos or artwork.

Monthly meetings will be held the third Monday of each month at the La Quinta Inn at 5 p.m., followed by team captains at 6 p.m.

For more information, contact Seidl at 817-202-5901 or visit www.relayforlife.org/somervellcotx or www.cancer.org.