Relay for Life gears up for 2016 campaign

Published 10:27 am Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Organizations across Vicksburg are kicking off the 2016 campaign season in the hopes of raising funds to benefit their cause.

Relay for Life kicked off the fundraising year Monday night with this year’s theme Paint Your World Purple in its first meeting for the 2016 year.

“The purpose of tonight is to kickoff our fall fundraising, to let everybody know we’ve launched our websites for the 2016 relay year. We’ve introduced the theme, and we want teams to get signed up and start fundraising early,” community manager Scarlet Fowler said.

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Fowler announced she was leaving at the end of November, and Megan McBeth would take over the position. McBeth is in charge of six territories in Mississippi.

“What we’re focused on right now is just recruiting more volunteers, more survivors, more teams and more committee members. There is so much potential here in Vicksburg that there’s nowhere to go but up,” McBeth said.

This year’s kickoff is significantly earlier than last year with the celebration happening in September instead of March.

Last year’s late start didn’t hinder the teams, Diamond Jacks co-captain Brenda Rawson said it was one of best years they have had, but team captains are glad to have extra time and get a head start on the year.

“We’re looking for an even better year than what we had last year…since we got an early start,” Diamond Jacks captain Edna Brooks said.

She said Diamond Jacks has been involved in Relay for many years, and their team really enjoys the time they spend raising money.

“We have team members that have cancer or had cancer, and we just do it as part of our community outreach,” Rawson said.

Fowler said Relay has already received a $1,500 donation from the Vicksburg Performing Arts Company. Teams who raise at least $1,500 before Nov. 15 get up to 15 long sleeve navy Relay for Life T-shirts.

Another incentive for teams is for every new member, sponsor, donation or other challenge met, the team captain earns Relay Bucks, which are cashed out for prizes at Bank Night in April.

“It’s like an incentive or a challenge for participants and teams to really participate in the development of relay whether that be meetings, other teams’ fundraising events, making up new fundraisers for the area. That generates Relay Bucks,” Fowler said.

The first fundraiser for all teams is to sell a $35 purple jersey with Relay for Life printed across the back neck and sleeves.

Vicksburg has a lot to look forward to this year with Stick a Fork in Cancer, where local restaurants donate a portion of their earning from the night of Thursday Nov. 12 to Relay for Life of Warren County.

“They can contribute from 5 percent to 20 percent of their net sales for the day on Nov. 12,” Fowler said.

Crowns for a Cure Warren County is a pageant open to ages 0 to 18 from all local schools Saturday Nov. 14 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Warren Central High School in honor of Afton Wallace. The final event of the calendar year will be Love Lights A Tree, a Christmas luminaria lighting event that will take place in December.

This year’s event day is tentatively scheduled for April 29, 2016 from 6 p.m. to midnight at Vicksburg High School.

The next Relay for Life of Warren County meeting will be held 6 pm. Monday Oct. 19 at Porters Chapel United Methodist Church.

“We always want inquiring people who may become teams to come to the meeting just to find out what Relay is about,” Fowler said.

To register a team, visit