BLACKFOOT – Bingham County Relay for Life 2019 kicked off with a little late start, but made efforts get right back on track. Mike Batton, the emcee of the event, hopped right on stage and kicked the event off, without a hitch.
Chris Cannon was invited to the stage to lead those in attendance in a prayer. The prayer was a little different than what someone may have thought. Although true to his roots, he spoke almost entirely about those who have, are, and will battle cancer.
Following Cannon, Ashlyn Allen, Miss Eastern Idaho Outstanding Teen, sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" to officially designate that the Relay was primed and ready to get underway. Not soon after, the annual quilt auction took place.
As quilts were displayed, numbers were hooted and hollered by antsy Relay goers, wanting to get these beautiful works of art, and tokens of appreciation to take home with them. One of the quilts, which had sold once for $150 was re-donated to be auctioned once again. Rough estimates would say that the quilt auction brought in around $1500, but the numbers may be even higher.
This led to Johnathan Horak playing music for the crowd. During this time, the contestants for "Too sexy for my Relay" began to rally around collecting donations so that they would not have to be the ones dressed up by the winners. Mayor Marc Carroll and Morning News Publishing Editor Elisa Magagna battled it out with four other contestants, where the three losers are dressed in whatever the three winners decide they should wear; then the fun begins. A fashion show where they have to strut their stuff on the catwalk takes place, all in the name of charity.
Along with the announcement of the contestants for this year's "Too sexy for my Relay" the survivor walk began. Survivors and their caretakers took to the track, presenting a symbolic visual that with support, each any every one of those who are battling with cancer, can overcome it, and simply walk away from it.
As the evening turned into the night, and the temperature dropped, some of the booths started to close shop and prepare for the later festivities. Live music continued to be played to the crowd, with Grace Partridge singing, followed by Cherlyn Goodworth and family, performing for the relay goers.
Games were played, and the fashion so commenced.
At 10 P.M. the luminaria ceremony began. The luminaires were lit, with dozens of them arranged on the bleachers spelling out "HOPE." The rest lined the track with different cancer survivors names on them. Alongside the luminaria came the moment of silence and bagpipes by the Blackfoot Fire Department. This led into the mission message presented by Elisa Magagna. She spoke about how cancer has effected her family, and how that as a family they fought it together.
This brought the event close to midnight, with the time filled with games, team recognitions and the totals raised, the 2019 Bingham County Relay for Life came to a conclusion.