Though not as many Tyler County residents as organizers had hoped took advantage of the entertainment at the Sistersville City Park on Friday night, the Relay For Life of Tyler County's main event carried on without pause.
Seventeen teams raised money throughout the year and the majority of them participated in the annual event on May 31. The theme of this year's event, Rainbow of Hope, was held in order for local individuals, teams, organizations and businesses to raise money to assist local residents suffering from cancer.
Opening ceremonies began at 7 p.m. with the raising of the flag by the honor guard and a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem by Jennifer Hayes.
Sistersville United Methodist Church singers
The first lap around the makeshift track, as tradition holds, was led by local cancer survivors, celebrating life. The second lap had caregivers and family members joining the survivors on the track.
Throughout the evening, team and community members paced themselves as they walked around and around the track, surrounded by luminaria bags, each one dedicated to persons, organizations, and groups. Teams set up games, entertainment and baked food item stalls, while the stage area hosted several groups of musicians along with D.J. Carman Harman.
The poignant Luminaria Ceremony began with the lighting of the luminaria after dark. As always, this part of the event once again turned out to be one of the most emotional, touching and beautiful of the evening.
Teams participating in the 2013 Relay For Life of Tyler County were: Sistersville General Hospital, Crusaders for a Cure, The Purple Misfits, Wings of Hope, Team Lennie, Car Crazy, Thin Blue Line, Highland Hill Schnauzers, Friends for Hope, Lucky Charms, Squires, Bankers For Life, Armor of Hope, Boreman Bobcats, Hattie's Heavenly Angels, IGA Hoots, and Team LOL.
The total dollar amount raised this year in Tyler County has yet to be totaled and finalized with a few teams still collecting money or holding fund raisers.
Also, in order to continue to support the Relay For Life of Tyler County, Wable Ford and Bell Chevrolet in Sistersville will be donating a portion from every oil change this month to the cause.
Those interested in "Change for a Cure" can do so at these locations by contacting Bell's at 304-652-3541 or Wable's at 304-652-3771.
Committee members would like to extend their appreciation to everyone who was involved in assisting and supporting the Relay For Life of Tyler County this year.
"Only with everyone's help will we beat cancer in our lifetime," a spokesman said. "We'd like to thank everyone who participated and hope we can have an even bigger event next year."