Relay for LIfe is Saturday at 6 p.m., MC Auditorium

The Relay for Life of East St. Mary event kicks off Saturday at 6 p.m. with the team call out, followed by opening ceremonies at 7 p.m.

Rain, mosquitoes, heat and humidity will not be a concern because the event is being held inside the Morgan City Municipal Auditorium.

Relay For Life is the signature event of the American Cancer Society and takes place overnight on an athletic track, park or other gathering area. Individuals and teams arrive at Relay for Life with the goal of keeping at least one team member on the track at all times. Prior to the event, teams organize fundraisers to raise money. They also do fundraising at their “campsites” during the event.

Funds raised from Relay for Life support the American Cancer Society’s mission to create a world with more birthdays by helping people stay well, by helping people get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back. Relay for Life supports the society’s vital research efforts, as well as programs for patients, including transportation assistance and free lodging at Hope Lodge facilities.

“We are looking to have a very successful event by making our statement against cancer and to raise funds that will go toward eliminating cancer,” Event Chair Michael Knobloch said. “We are thankful to the people of this area for their support in our endeavors to fight cancer, and we thank Mayor Tim Matte, the Morgan City Council and the staff at the Morgan City Municipal Auditorium for working with us to hold this great event at the municipal auditorium.”

Without the weather factors, “it will be perfect conditions to hold a Relay,” Knobloch added. “We think that this will make it easier for our cancer survivors to enjoy their night. Also, we are incorporating a few new things to make the event special and unique.”

In addition to being inside, the Relay event will feature a number of games and activities as well as musical entertainment.

“Participating in various games and races provides our event attendees and team members an opportunity to have fun while raising money for a great cause. There will be hula-hoop contests, sack races, and musically-themed laps such as the ’70s, ’80s, Beatles, etc.,” Activities Chair Leah Begley said. The event will have a disc jockey providing music throughout the evening.

One of the most emotional aspects of any Relay for Life event is the luminaria ceremony, which will occur at 9 p.m. During this time, the auditorium will be darkened, only to be illuminated by the small luminaria bags placed around a “track” on the auditorium’s floor.

“This is the most touching part of our Relay event. Families attend this ceremony as a way to honor their loved ones fighting cancer and to remember those who are no longer here with us,” Jo Ann Bergeron, event committee member, said.

Sponsors are a major part of any Relay event as well.

“We are thankful to our sponsors for helping to fund our event. We could not do this without their support, Frances Dupre, a long-time committee volunteer, said.

The sponsors for this year’s event are:

—Purple Sponsor ($5,000): New Industries

—Silver Sponsor ($2,000): Oceaneering

—Survivor Celebration Sponsor ($1,500): Teche Regional Medical Center, Lirette Ford

—Fight Back Banner Sponsor ($1,000): Major Equipment

—Luminaria Sponsor ($1,000): Sewart Supply; Vida Paint

—T-Shirt Sponsors ($500): Oncologics; Halimar; Tune Weavers; Whitney Bank; Conrad Industries

Knobloch encouraged interested people to contact him by phone at 385-2949, send him an email to, or visit the event’s website for more information.

Anyone wishing to volunteer for this year’s event, whether with set-up or on the evening of the event, should contact Knobloch immediately.

Relay for Life makes it possible for the American Cancer Society to provide helpful information on cancer, treatments, support services and more 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 800-227-2345 and

Since its beginning in 1985, the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life has developed from one man running around a track for 24 hours to a full-fledged international event taking place in more than 5,000 communities and 20 countries across the globe with nearly 4 million walkers in the United States alone. Relay For Life is a community-based, volunteer-driven event fighting against cancer and is the world’s largest grassroots fundraising movement.

To learn more about Relay For Life, visit

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