Cove, Lampasas hold Relay For Life on Saturday

Cove Leader-Press 

For a total of 15 hours from Saturday morning until Sunday morning, several hundred participated in the annual Relay For Life in Copperas Cove to benefit the American Cancer Society. 
Due to the rainy weather during the past week and the chance of rain on Friday and into the weekend, the decision was made to move the event from Hanke Stadium at S.C. Lee Junior High to the cafeteria and gymnasium at the Williams/Ledger Elementary School campus nearby. The perimeter of the cafeteria and stage area was lined with luminaria bags and arrows pointed the way for participants to walk around the cafeteria, then circle outside through the parking lot, back into the cafeteria once again, circling through the gym, then back onto the cafeteria track.
This year’s relay fundraising goal was $50,000, with the cities of Copperas Cove and Lampasas pooling their resources and efforts. In 2016, Copperas Cove’s Relay brought in more than $37,000.
After an opening ceremony, teams were introduced. This year, 20 teams showed up to raise money for the cause, said Scott Smith with the Relay’s Lead Team. 
One of the requirements was that each team’s “spirit stick” had to be on the track at all times. One of the events on Saturday included a spirit stick competition for the best stick. 
When not rounding the track, team members could spend time under their canopies, with each team offering a variety of items, either for sale or donation. 
The event was also open to the community for individuals to stop by and participate. All teams turned in their proceeds to the relay’s “bank,” where the Relay For Life’s lead team kept a running tally of all donations that came in for the event. 
Linda Twilleager heads up the team John Wayne’s Posse, and has done so for six years. She said they named the team after her grandfather, John Wayne Twilleager, and participate in his honor and memory, along with honoring her brother and father, both of whom have battled cancer as well. 
Their effort is a year-round one to raise funds, with the group also holding fundraisers during the year at places like Candy Outfitters. 
Team set goals for fundraising, with many of the teams reaching their goals on Saturday. 
Pink Warrior Angels’ Julie Moser has kept a close eye on her team’s fundraising, with a goal of raising $1,000, which they not only met but surpassed on Saturday. Moser said this year, they walked in honor of Savannah Lewis, a Copperas Cove High School student currently undergoing intense chemotherapy for a rare bone cancer. 
In addition to the lighter moments, such as theme laps like “Dude Looks Like a Lady’, live dancing and musical entertainment, the day also had moments for reminders about the seriousness of a disease like cancer.
Cancer survivors received a T-shirt and survivor sash and had the chance to participate in a lap just for them, with another lap dedicated to the caregivers, who joined survivors on the track.  
In the evening, the luminarias were lit, hundreds lining the course. The room was darkened and glow sticks were placed inside the white paper bags, each decorated in memory of a friend or loved one lost to cancer, or in honor of a cancer survivor, with the relay concluding with a closing ceremony at midnight Sunday. 

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Copperas Cove, TX 76522
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