Relay organizers vow to continue event next year

Published 12:29 am Sunday, May 2, 2010

A week after the early shutdown of the 2010 Warren County Relay For Life, officials at the American Cancer Society, the group benefitting from the all-night fundraiser, say the show will go on next year.

“The American Cancer Society is committed to Relay For Life of Warren County and to the cancer survivors and the Warren County community as a whole,” American Cancer Society Mississippi Vice President Robert Morris said in a joint statement with Warren County Relay For Life co-chairman Kristy Cole. “In the coming months, we will work with our volunteer committee and with Warren County law enforcement to come up with a plan regarding the safety for all Relay participants.”

This year’s event on April 23 at Warren Central High School was shut down around 10 p.m. — instead of the scheduled 6 the next morning — because 1,000 to 1,500 rowdy teens had gathered in the school parking lot, causing fear for some of the registered volunteers.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Additionally, a threatening storm led organizers to fear the gymnasium — where the event had been moved from Viking Stadium because of the weather — would not hold the crowd that had amassed outside the school on Mississippi 27.

Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said five off-duty deputies initially volunteered to patrol the private event, which had no private security, and four on-duty deputies were called in once the shutdown was announced.

“We’ll continue to work with them and support them,” Pace said, adding that the committee would need to plan for private security at future Relays.

First-time Chairman Amy Burr said Friday that event raised $80,000, just $20,000 shy of its goal.

Burr, who said immediately after the shutdown that she would not return next year as chairman, said Friday that she might volunteer in another capacity, “if it works out.”