Relay for Life celebrates Rings of Hope

Wednesday, September 13, 2023
B. Kay Richter

The 2023 Mississippi County Relay for Life kicked off on Friday evening. The annual event was held at the fairgrounds at Walker Park in Blytheville. The opening ceremony featured the singing of the National Anthem, team introductions and various other announcements. The laps began with the survivor lap and balloon release, the caregiver lap, followed by the individual team laps. "Today, we are going to celebrate survivors," said executive leadership team volunteer Carla Trammel. "This year's theme is the rings of hope." Included in the official ceremonies was a friendly competition between the Blytheville Police Department, the Blytheville Fire Department, Pafford EMTs and the Mississippi County Sheriff's Department. "They are going to be competing in a four-legged rise sack race, a tug of war and then a fire truck pull," Trammel said during an interview before the event. The Relay for Life team also displayed all the luminaries holding special memories to honor the lives of past loved ones. In previous years, sand was used to hold these luminaries in place, but that has now changed. "We have a survivor dinner in November, and we will send out the invitations for that," Trammel said. "So if any survivor has not registered yet, we would like for them to call 870-838-3665 or they can contact Laura Fletcher at 870-623-2286. As far as volunteers for the event, the leadership team said that about 20 high school seniors and several Nucor Steel interns joined the ranks of volunteers for the event. "We probably have anywhere between 100 to 200 volunteers," Trammel said. "We at least have 150 volunteers." This year, the Relay for Life team appreciated the location change and all of the volunteers who worked diligently to clean up the fairgrounds to make the area presentable.