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This round goes to the girls!
Yep, Ken Stone, whether he wants to or not, is going to have to give some credit to the female staff here at the Grant County News.
The “Hair Today, Gone in May” event which pitted Ken, Bill Glass, Bryan Miles and Rick Skinner against each other to see who could raise the most money and get their head shaved as a Relay For Life fundraiser is in the history books.
Voting ended at 6:05 and a half p.m. on Friday, May 13.
Ken had been plotting. Ken had been scheming. Ken had even kicked in some of his own money so that he could put a bounty on the other guys’ flowing locks.
He razzed his opponents and schemed some more, but Ken got fooled.
He thought he had an ace in the hole when a large company who deals with garbage placed a “bounty” on the lovely mane of Bryan Miles, Grant County’s solid waste coordinator. Ken was sure this meant he would not go under the knife, er scissors.
But boy was he wrong and I don’t think he even saw it coming.
As the minutes, seconds even, ticked away, Ken’s own employees continued to make their plan and at the last second whipped out more than $1,200 in donations. We had been working hard to “surprise” him.
I think he was speechless, either from the fact that he was going to have to shave his head or that he didn’t realize we were that sneaky and worked our magic right under his nose.
But being a good sport, Ken was true to his word and shaved his head.
Why would a man with a healthy head of hair just shave it off?
The answer - it is for a great cause.
The “Hair Today, Gone in May” was a fundraising idea that Ken came up with for the Grant County News Relay For Life team. Combined with the annual community yard sale and expected sales of homemade pulled pork barbecue sandwiches at the relay on Friday night, the News team composed of employees, their family and friends will donate closed to $3,500 to the Grant County Relay For Life in the fight against cancer.
If you’ve never been to the Relay, you truly don’t know what you are missing.
The News team is not alone in their fundraising efforts. Teams across the community have been holding yard sales, bakes sales, chili suppers, motorcycle rides, as well as baking bread, cookies and candy and selling bracelets, candy bars, you name it all to raise money towards a goal of $100,000.
The Relay For Life is a community event like no other. There are games, contests, prizes, a live and silent auction, music, dancing, laughing, crying and a spirit of community that is hard to describe.
It’s like a giant festival but one with a purpose. The purpose is pretty simple – raise as much money as possible to fight cancer.
The relay will kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 20 at Grant County Park in Crittenden.
Thirty teams, composed of eight to 15 members, will spend the next 12 hours walking, laughing, crying, remembering and hoping.
While not all team members are on the track at the same time, at least one representative from each team is walking while other team members are playing games, watching entertainment and enjoying themselves.
Following the opening ceremony, cancer survivors are honored with a meal prepared and paid for by the employees at Performance Pipe in Williamstown.
There’s a best decorated camp site and relay poster contest. There’ll be a hula hoop contest, watermelon eating contest, dance contest, along with a magic show by Shawn Dion. “The Karate Kid” will be shown at 11 p.m. followed by a wacky “Grant County Relay For Life water polo event at 2 a.m.
This event has something for everyone and there’s never a dull moment.
The highlight of the evening is a luminary ceremony at 10 p.m. where cancer survivors and those lost to cancer will be recognized.
White luminaria bags with candles inside will be placed around the track in their memory and honor.
If you’ve never experienced this event, it is truly something to behold and every year it gets better and better.
This event is free and all donations are greatly appreciated because the money raised from this event will pay for programs to benefit this community. Part of the money goes to fund research efforts.
The Grant County Relay For Life is more than just a big hoopla for the American Cancer Society, it’s about the people in this community standing side by side, willing to make a difference.
Are you willing to stand with us?
(Jamie Baker-Nantz is editor of the Grant County News. She can be reached at 859-824-3343 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.)