Nine years ago kids started walking with Relay for Life to raise money for cancer, and this year they are getting ready to walk again. The deadline for the Kids Walk has been extended a few days, and there is still plenty of time to sign up.
“It is really cool how we do it,” said Michelle Parker, the chairwoman for the Kids Walk at Relay for Life.
“Kids know what cancer is,” Parker added. “They will be our future Relay for Life.”
“I have been doing Relay for 19 years,” Parker said, stressing that the Kids Walk has been a popular part of the event for the last few years. “The walk is for children and our registration deadline is being extended to Monday, May 12” so we can get a lot of kids to take part.
The ninth annual Kids Walk will begin on Friday, May 30 at 6 p.m. In the past the Kids Walk was held on Saturday, but due to students having Saturday school, the walk was moved, and the Relay shortened.
“I am feeling very optimistic that this year’s Kids Walk will be stronger than ever,” asserted Parker.
The Relay for Life location has not changed, despite the shortening of the event due to snow days. It remains at Clinton High’s football field, and a portion of the field will be designated for the Kids Walk.
“Last year we had over 120 participants,” detailed Parker about the Kids Walk “We are hoping for even more this year!”
Kids Walk, Parker said, is a wonderful opportunity for kids to learn about Relay for Life, to become supporters and to plant the seeds for future volunteers in the county’s main event.
Hearing about the walk from her parents, Butler Avenue second-grade student Lensey Cabral started walking in the Kids Walk when it started, and she was also one to walk before the Kids Walk was created.
“My mom told me about Relay for Life,” said Cabral in an interview. “So I started with her. She asked me if I would like to come walk for cancer.”
For Cabral, walking for cancer was more than just a walk, it was also a way to show support for her dad’s mom, Cabral’s grandmother, who had cancer.
“I started when I was 3 years old, and I have done it ever since,” said the second-grader. After hearing about the kids walk she figured she had better go and see what it was all about she said.
“I walk around with my mom,” she said.
There are also other activities for kids at the event, and they will have a chance to play on inflatables, line dance, participate in a Hula Hoop contest and play on a giant Twister board.
For the Butler student, one of her favorite things is getting her face painted.
“I love getting my face painted,” she said. “It always tickles.” She added that she really enjoyed the entertainment.
“I get to walk and help people that have cancer,” Cabral said, enthusiastically. “And I love spending time with my family.”
The Kids Walk participants are encouraged to raise donations if they are able to, but it is not mandatory.
“We like participants to raise $20 or more if they can,” said Parker.
The registration deadline has been extended to May 12 and the fee is $10 for a Kids Walk T-shirt. There will be a limited amount of those for sale at the event.
The T-shirts will have a design on them created by one of the local students plus logos from supporting businesses. Sponsorship levels are $1,000, $500 and $250.
For more information about sponsorship or registration contact Michelle Parker at 910-592-8627 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emily M. Hobbs can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 122. Follow us on Twitter: @SampsonInd