Under sunny skies and warm weather, an estimated 300 people attended the 2018 Relay For Life at Hope's Fair Park Friday, April 27. The main event was the culmination of both a busy April and the past 12 months for the Hempstead County Relay for Life, and as usual, it was equal parts celebration, reflection, and fun.

Under sunny skies and warm weather, an estimated 300 people attended the 2018 Relay For Life at Hope’s Fair Park Friday, April 27.  The main event was the culmination of both a busy April and the past 12 months for the Hempstead County Relay for Life, and as usual, it was equal parts celebration, reflection, and fun.

Afterwards, longtime Hempstead RFL chair Jessie Lewis said, “I thought the Relay was successful in raising money for the ACS, and bringing the community together for such a fun event. All of the Relay teams that were on–site did a phenomenal job. We had five new teams who jumped in and pulled their team together.”
As people were still arriving to Fair Park, Hope Mayor Steve Montgomery kicked off the event with a brief speech, reflecting on family members that he had lost to cancer, and then, there was the traditional Survivor’s Walk, the first walk around the track that opens the relay.
Also, there were the traditional sponsor tents setup throughout Fair Park to continue to raise additional funds for Relay into the evening. Herndon Fuqua won the award for best decorated tent.
The finale, the Luminary ceremony, was setup to remember those who died of cancer as well as those who survived. The names of those who died that relayers were representing were read followed by the names of survivors.
Lewis also announced the results of the RFL golf tournament, hosted by Southern Bakeries, the week before on April 20.
“There were 16 teams who participated, and estimated amount raised is $11,720, which includes $7,000 in hole sponsorships. The overall golf tournament winner was New Millennium team #1 with a score of 53. This team was comprised of Chris Short, Blake Santifer, Cory Lehr, and Brandon Waters,” she said.
As the Hope Star was preparing for press Tuesday, Lewis did not have a final total on funds raised this year. Lewis said Relay will continue to raise funds through August.  
In wrapping up the 2018 event, Lewis said “This Thursday we will have a final wrap-up meeting to present awards to Team Captains and Committees.  We will also discuss ways to improve our Relay for next year.”