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Western theme to dominate this year’s Relay

From purple caregiver bags to pony rides and a mechanical bull: it’s shaping up to be a very interesting and action-packed Relay For Life in Butler County in 2009.

“Rustlin’ for a Cure,” the American Cancer Society’s signature fundraising event, comes to the YMCA football field May 8 and 9.

Board members gathered at Cambrian Ridge Wednesday to discuss further plans for the annual event, which will feature activities and entertainment from dusk until dawn this year.

Gerri McGinnis, activities chair, said she had confirmed availability of a mechanical bull and pony rides as part of the cowboy theme for the event.

“We are also planning bingo and domino tourneys . . . we want to have a lot of activities that are fun and available to those who attend Relay,” McGinnis said.

Among the returning events will be the ever-popular womanless beauty pageant, Relay Idol and the hula hoop contest.

An addition to this year’s Luminaria Ceremony will be purple bags placed on the track in honor of cancer patient caregivers. They will be added to the white bags honoring and remembering cancer patients.

“The cost will be the same; we just ask a minimum $5 donation to have a bag with your caregiver’s or a loved one’s caregiver’s name on it,” said Luminaria Chair Ethelyn Watson.

Event Chair Galahad Smith noted several new teams have joined the event this year and encouraged others to consider being a part of Relay For Life in 2009.

Advocacy Chair Charlene Powell said she and Jessica Garrard, community representative for the ACS, were planning to visit the statehouse in Montgomery next Tuesday, February 24, to support passage of the Smoke-Free campaign banning smoking in all public buildings in Alabama.

“We are also asking everyone to contact their legislators and ask that funding for breast and cervical cancer research be increased rather than cut, so more lives can be saved,” Powell said.

The next ACS RFL meeting is set for Wednesday, March 18 at noon at Cambrian Ridge.