Relay for Life a success, despite weather

By Emily Pitts

Relay for Life a success, despite weather

Representatives from the McNairy County Justice Complex take a quick break to pose for a picture. Staff photos by Emily Pitts

Relay for Life started off with a bang this year — thunder rattled and lightning filled the skies over the Selmer City Park for the first half hour of the event, and there was a threat of rain all night. 

Unfortunately, due to the weather, the musicians for the event were unable to set up their equipment, the luminaries could not be lit, and the survivor lap was canceled. 

There will, however, be a later event to honor the survivors, according to Sandy Tucker, Relay for Life’s event organizer. It will include the music and luminary display that had to be eliminated from Relay for Life on Friday night. 

A date has not been set for the make-up event to honor the survivors as yet, but it will be decided soon.

“Last year we honored over 100 survivors,” said Tucker. “We hope to have at least the same amount this year.”

Tucker considers it fortunate that the event was held at all, as Jackson’s Relay for Life was canceled because of the severe weather. In Selmer, the 15th annual Relay for Life continued, for the most part, on schedule.

“The event went well,” said Tucker, “considering the weather. The teams were very understanding and opted to stay.”

Earlier in the day, more than 30 teams had set up, the most teams that Selmer’s Relay for Life has ever had. The majority of the teams chose to continue despite the threat of severe weather. By the time the even began, 23 teams were present and stayed until around midnight.

The rain could not dampen the spirits of those who attended the event either. Those who came walked the track and enjoyed a variety of good foods and creative booths. There were also a few activities to participate in, including a cake walk, a dunking booth, and a train ride around the park.

Because of the weather, some of the teams have not yet been able to turn in all the money that they raised, but at last count the event had already raised more than $40,000 for the American Cancer Society, according to Tucker.

For more information about the American Caner Society and Relay for Life, visit