Jacksonville Relay expands to North Pulaski County

By Emily Van Zandt Originally Published May 2, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated May 1, 2013 at 11:18 a.m.
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Emily Van Zandt

Laurie Howard, front, the owner of Wicked Salon in Sherwood, helps paint a backdrop with Audra Knight, left, and Kathryn Kellogg. All three are members of a team that will participate in the North Pulaski County Relay for Life on May 10 and 11.

— As planning was under way for the 2013 Jacksonville Relay for Life, organizers decided a change was in order.

Rather than limiting team participation to residents of Jacksonville, organizers decided to refocus the relay, re-branding it as the North Pulaski Relay for Life in an attempt to draw participants from Sherwood and North Little Rock.

“We’ve built up a good base in Jacksonville, but Sherwood and North Little Rock had no teams,” said Penny Wells, team development chair. “We went and talked to businesses in Sherwood and North Little Rock, but so far we haven’t had much luck.”

There are currently 23 teams registered for the relay, scheduled to kick off at 6 p.m. May 10 at the Jacksonville Community Center outdoor track. Despite the expansion, only two of those teams are from Sherwood, and none is registered from North Little Rock. Wells said that many North Little Rock teams choose to participate in the Little Rock-based relay.

“Next year, hopefully, we’ll have a pretty good campaign and get more teams from Sherwood,” Wells said. “We want to give other communities a chance to get into this fight.”

One Sherwood team eager to get involved with the new North Pulaski County relay is Wicked Salon. After participating in a “hair cut-a-thon” to benefit the Look Good, Feel Better program that helps women going through cancer treatments, members of the salon staff decided to make cancer their cause.

“There isn’t anyone’s family that hasn’t been affected by cancer,” salon owner Laurie Howard said.

The salon team for the relay currently has 15 members, including salon staff, customers and friends. Howard said she was happy to learn that the Jacksonville relay had expanded to include Sherwood and was surprised that more businesses haven’t stepped up to join.

“We’re the only business team in Sherwood,” Howard said.

As part of the relay theme “Lights, Camera, Relay,” each team will create a booth for visitors, selling food and having a game available — all based on a movie. The team from Wicked Salon picked a Wizard of Oz theme, complete with costumes, “Monkey Meat” sandwiches, “Melted Witch” sheet cake and two “flying monkeys” played by Howard’s dogs.

“We’ve already raised nearly $3,000, and we hope to do more with the food we’ll be selling,” Howard said.

Each team will have a member walking on the track at all times during the relay, which lasts 12 hours, going until 6 a.m. May 11.

Community members not participating with a team are encouraged to visit the relay, which Wells described as a carnival atmosphere.

“People can come out and have dinner, play some games and support the Cancer Society,” Wells said. “We just want to increase awareness and make this the best fundraiser we can.”

Staff writer Emily Van Zandt can be reached at (501) 399-3688 or evanzandt@arkansasonline.com.

Staff Writer Emily Van Zandt can be reached at 501-399-3688 or emily@syncweekly.com.

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