The 2013 America Cancer Society’s Little Rock Relay for Life (www.RelayForLifeLittleRock.org) was held again at the President Clinton Library in Little Rock. Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature fundraiser. It offers everyone in a community an opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer. Teams of people camp out and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Relay for Life is an overnight event and our event lasts 12 hours. The 2012 event raised over $40,000 for American Cancer Society.
This event was an amazing time with people that came together in one place from different backgrounds, ages, religions, companies, but for like reasons. We came together to Celebrate, Remember, and FIGHT! The event started at 6PM Friday the 19th of April and was scheduled to end at 6AM Saturday the 20th. It may have been cold outside but the event was warm with love and caring!
The event kicked off with the Catholic High School Marine Corps JROTC Color Guard that presented the colors followed by Adrienne (A-dri-en) Collins who sang our National Anthem most beautifully.
The festivities music and sound provided was provided by DJ Bill Slade. I made some announcements and then it was time for the CRAZY ‘Dude Looks Like a Lady’ contest emceed by KATV Channel 7’s Melinda Mayo and Renee Shapiro with judges Former Miss Arkansas Kristen Glover, B98.5’s Lisa Fischer, and Arkansas Democrat Gazette’s Jennifer Christman. The crazy all male lineup of contestants dressed to the 9’s, although they were 0’s as women, made their way to the stage in dresses sporting handbags. The contestants included Danny-Joe Crofford (ACS Media Chair), Tommy Smith (The Buzz 103.7), Chris Cane (KATV Channel 7), Robert Burton (KATV Channel 7), Roger Scott (The Buzz 103.7), Poolboy (Alice 107.7), and the queen of the ball Bob Robbins (KSSN 96). To summarize the sight of these men in dresses is simple… I’ve lost weight since the event and my eyes still burn but it was HILARIOUS. Governor Mike Beebe and his wife Ginger were also in the audience for the spectacle laughing as hard as I was. The Beebe’s are absolutely wonderful people and I’ve had the honor of being at many events with them.
Now it was time for the relay to start, beginning with the Survivor Lap and the release of the purple balloons (The Power of Purple), next joined by their Caregivers in the second lap, and finally the rest of the participants joined in the relay. This was very moving to watch as the relay participants walked around all of the luminaries that marked the track.
After the relay began it was time for the entertainment as well to cheer on the participants. During my shift between 6PM and 10PM, the entertainment included TCO Gospel Hip Hop, JDKT, 1Girl Gospel, Anderson’s Taekwondo, Dancing, Crazy Fun Cake Walk dancing their way for prizes, and more! There was a BBQ contest, Scavenger hunt, and of course I tasted everything offered by the many teams at the event.
The clock struck 9PM and we began the Luminary event that I know caused many eyes to no longer be dry throughout the crowd including my own. I was asked to tell the story of my Grandmother, Marion G. Smith, who passed away from breast cancer. I will say this to each of you, cancer affects far more than just the victim. It affects all of those around them. It was extremely difficult to tell my story about my Grandmother as I am sure it is with anyone with the same type of story.
Many people came forward to sign their pledge flags and some even came up to the stage to read their pledge. A 12 year old even took the stage to remember her mother that passed away from cancer 2 years ago. I teared up yet again as she spoke in a timid voice but backed by her teen support group. Even at that age, true friends understand the importance of love and support. I was completely in awe!
So much more happened after I left and I take my hat off to all of those that stayed for the entire 12 hours. There was more entertainment, prizes, food, frozen T-shirt contest, Fashion Show, the Purple Kool-Aide Drinking contest, and people hugging and crying together.
I ask ALL of my friends, family, and acquaintances to please get screened for cancer and also make sure that your loved ones do as well. Cancer doesn’t care who you are or what background you have. It is a VICIOUS killer of anyone. You cannot be too safe when it comes to cancer, so PLEASE get checked regularly.
If you missed this year’s event, please make sure to make next year at the same place on May 2nd starting at 6PM.
I look forward to seeing you all next year for this most incredible event!
Thank you EVERYONE from your buddy…
Michael “Doc” Davis (Actor, Comedian, Entertainer, Event Host / MC)
Blog Spot: www.comediandoc.blogspot.com