Relay For Life is an event designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for research and programs of the American Cancer Society.
Minden's Relay for Life will be held in the Walmart parking lot from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. In the event of rain, the relay will be moved to the First Baptist Church gym.
When Minden's Relay for Life chair became involved three years ago with the American Cancer Society, it was an answer to prayer.
"I've been involved three years since I took this job at Minden Medical Center," said Jennifer Spurlock, MMC Marketing Coordinator.
"When I first started this job, I prayed about how I could touch the community and make a difference. Three days later, the American Cancer Society called and asked if the hospital wanted to be a team," she said.
Spurlock started the hospital's team that year and eventually she took over the whole Relay for Life event as the chair.
During a relay event, teams of people camp out and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Because cancer never sleeps, the relays are overnight events up to 24 hours in length. Each team tries to keep at least one team member on the track at all times.
The first lap or "Survivor Lap" is a time for cancer survivors to celebrate their victory over cancer.
The "Caregiver Lap" is the second lap of the Relay and it is to recognize those who have given care to cancer patients.
The next lap is the "Opening Lap" when all Relay teams are invited to walk together. Minden will have seven teams walking during this lap.
To remember loved ones lost to cancer or to honor those battling the disease, luminaria bags are lit for the Luminaria Ceremony. According to Spurlock this ceremony, held after sunset, is a moving event when the luminarias glow in memory or honor of others.
"Everybody has been either directly touched or known somebody that's been touched by cancer," Spurlock said. "The luminaria ceremony is one of the bigger events and that's something that everybody can participate in whether they want to remember someone or honor someone that is still alive."
Each luminaria is personalized with the name, photo, message or drawing in memory or honor of a friend or loved one who has been affected by cancer. Each luminaria candle represents a person, who could be a mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, a friend or a co-worker.
To purchase a luminaria in honor or in memory of someone, call 207-1079.
Family games, activities, food and entertainment by Dorcheat Bottom Band, The Hard Times Band and Blue Run Road will be a part of the night's events.
Local sponsors for Minden's Relay for Life are Richland State Bank, Minden Medical Center, Tango Transport, Vintage Car Club of Minden, Madden Contracting Company Inc., Blazer Construction, Regions Bank, Gibsland Bank and Trust and Alma's Art Studio.
Also, Blazer Construction will be selling $10 fish plates Friday afternoon in the Walmart parking lot.
Friday, April 13
12 p.m. Blazer is selling Fish Plates for $10 in the Walmart parking lot.
5 p.m. Gates Open – Team Tent-site Setup
On-Stage – Blue Run Road
6 p.m. On-Site Registration Opens
Luminaria Donations Tent Opens
Survivor Reception Opens
On-Stage – The Hard Times Band
7 p.m. Opening Ceremony Begins
7:20 p.m. Survivors Lap Begins
7:40 p.m. Caregivers Lap Begins
8 p.m. Fight Back Activity
8:30 p.m. Luminaria Ceremony Begins
9 p.m. Nighttime Activities Begin
On-Stage – Dorcheat Bottom Band