Relay for Life to celebrate on Boston Avenue

Published 7:58 pm Friday, April 27, 2018

By Ken Stickney

NEDERLAND — Kara Booth expects company Saturday and all 2,500 are coming at once, or at least within the same 12 hours.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Booth is coordinating the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life on Boston Avenue in Nederland from noon to midnight, a joint, annual venture this year involving both the Beaumont and Mid County organizations. She and other volunteers were setting up between the 1500 and 1700 blocks of Boston on Friday.

The goal is lofty — $250,000 this year — and that’s because Jefferson County has enjoyed past success. In 2017, the local effort was best in Texas, No. 2 in the nation and Baytown, which usually leads the state, wants its title back.

She said she and Baytown keep up with one another and she knows they are putting up big numbers this year, generating money to aid cancer research. In fact, she said, the American Cancer Society through efforts like Relay for Life puts up more money for research than anyone outside the federal government.

“We’re heading into this looking pretty good,” Booth said Friday. She was encouraged, too, that Saturday promised great weather, which Relay for Life has not had for many years.

In fact, Beaumont and Mid County did a hybrid effort at the Beaumont Civic Center in 2017 because the wind was so fierce on Boston Avenue it was carrying off the canopies and making booths and set-up impossible for Mid County. A change of plans sent the Mid County folks packing for Beaumont and the two groups enjoyed sharing space.

In addition, Relays for Life in Chambers and Orange counties were canceled this year, and Mid County and Beaumont invited them here.

Elli Jordan of Beaumont said there’s more than money involved. She said a 6 p.m. “Survivor Lap” for cancer survivors never fails to tug at her heartstrings, and she’s volunteered for 20 years. There’s a luminary event, as well, at 9.

There’s more, too, that might draw the public: 66 Relay teams are setting up stations that include face painting, food and art. There will be live entertainment, a DJ and dedication laps. There will be a hair donation stop, too, for those who want to donate their hair to cancer patients.

“My mom’s selling fresh eggs from the farm,” Booth said.