Relay Switch

It turned out to be  a bad idea to bring UV tanning gift cards to an American Cancer Society Event. Fortunately the questionable prizes stayed in the bag from the radio station and didn’t get placed into the goodie bags at the Relay for Life kickoff event last night. Some t-shirts and bumper stickers were enough. One of the organizers told me they’ve had to deal with that issue before.

The Relay for Life of the University of Tennessee will be held on campus from 6:00 p.m. on Friday, April 13 until 6:00 a.m. on April 14. The Relay for Life of Metro Knoxville happens at World’s Fair Park from 7:00 p.m. on Friday, June 15 until 7:00 a.m. on June 16. The kickoff event was held in the Tennessee Terrace, a luxury skybox in Neyland Stadium. Singer Brad Blackwell, who is a UT student, will perform at both Relays. He also entertained at the kickoff event for half an hour.

The highlight of the night was a speech by cancer survivor Rebecca Parton. She was only 22 and about to graduate from UT when she was diagnosed with a one-in-a-million form of sarcoma. It was the size of a golf ball when she first sought treatment. It grew to the size of a tennis ball by the time she had surgery to remove it. A series of other complications led her to Florida for treatment. While there, she lived in a Hope Lodge, which was paid for with funds raised by Relay for Life.

Three of my worlds overlapped at the kickoff event. I was there as a representative of Star 102.1, which is the new radio sponsor for the Relay. The two co-chairs of the downtown Relay are Greg Huff of Einstein Simplified and Bill Evans of WATE-TV, who also happens to be vice-president of the FBI Knoxville Citizens Academy Alumni Association.

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