More planning needed before next charity event

Published 12:30 am Sunday, May 9, 2010

In response to the April 26 story “Rowdiness shuts down all-night fund-raiser,” we would like to say that the volunteers who worked so hard from various schools and businesses should have been mentioned as well as the lack of supervised activity for teenagers in Vicksburg on weekends.

Booths at the American Cancer Society Relay for Life ranged from pulled pork to ice cream and jungles to a cupcake birthday. There was a crane booth that was “constructing a cure.” Team leaders had specially designed T-shirts for their booths and inflatables to entertain the children. There were massages, horoscopes and disco music. These volunteers rocked!

Students who worked tirelessly to earn money for a great cause were disheartened by the article, which did not credit good teens.

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Having a Plan B is important at any event. Warren Central administration and Sheriff Martin Pace had pointed out a couple of safety items that morning including the absence of lights between buildings and that private security was needed. The purpose of the Warren County Sherriff’s Department is not event security. Event security must be hired through a company. Relay team chairpersons needed to fill these needs for a safe event. Somehow these stipulations were overlooked.

The Relay for Life Committee said that anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent in order to attend and everyone must purchase a $5 wristband to remain at the event. These were not checked or enforced.

Relay for Life Events must have more volunteers for an event like this to run smoothly. This is a wonderful event. It needs to be a daytime event with a publicized rain date set up. The committee planning this event needs to include people who have firsthand knowledge of the venue, how to run an event of this magnitude and how to get key people with expertise in places of leadership.

We’d like to thank everyone for a job well-done under the circumstances. Most of us have met cancer — it’s not a pretty face — and we are blessed to meet with our survivors year after year at this wonderful event. Consider the crowd that the event draws, and have a plan B that works!

Susan Athow, Andrea Fairchild, Janice McKercher and Lee Ann Whitley

WCHS team members