Sheriff will sing to raise Relay funds

LAURINBURG — A group of law enforcers will take a spiritual approach to the cure for cancer this weekend by singing gospel songs.

“Relay for Life is a somber ceremony because you’re honoring the deceased and you’re remembering loved ones,” said Rebecca Riggs, administrative assistant at the Scotland County Sheriff’s Department. “It is an event for survivors, caregivers and people who have passed because of cancer.”

Putting a musical spin on fundraising, the Sheriff’s Office decided to raise money through a gospel singing on Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Laurel Hill Community Center.

“There is no charge for admission, we are just asking for donations,” Riggs said. “This is the first time we’ve done this so I have no idea what to expect.”

All proceeds will go toward the sheriff’s office team in Relay for Life: Sheriff Cuffin’ A Cure for Cancer. A relay team takes turns on the day of Relay for Life running around a designated track in order to raise money for cancer research.

“When you donate it goes into the American Cancer Society,” she said. “We’re really excited.”

Riggs is hoping to have at least 100 attendees at the gospel singing. This being the first year they have a team for the relay as well as this event, they are hoping to bring in as much as possible.

During the event there will be gospel songs sung by everyone in the sheriff’s office. There will even be a quartet consisting of Sheriff Ralph Kersey, Lt. Ronnie Ivey, Major Rodney Tucker and Capt. Kelvin Howell.

“Years ago Sheriff Kersey sang in a gospel group,” she said. “When we were talking about the idea to sing we thought gospel music would be more fitting for this type of event.”

Other officials also had experience singing and performing gospel music, which helped finalize the choice. The office decided to make a Facebook page for the event so people can vote on what songs they would like to hear prior to the ceremony.

The event will also have luminaries for sale, which can be decorated and dedicated in honor of a cancer survivor or a memory of one who has passed on. Luminaries will be lit at 9 p.m. on Oct. 2 during Relay for Life.

“People will be able to do that right as they come in,” said Riggs. The table will be set up so participants can still hear the music as they make their luminaries. Luminaries are made in remembrance or honor of a loved one. They are little bags that will be set out on the day of Relay for Life with a candle in them.

“You have to start preparing and planning months prior to October for this event,” Riggs said.

The sheriff’s office has already made arrangements to set up a tent during Relay, where they will be selling fish plates.

“I think we’re the only food vendors out there selling fish,” she said. “We will also have hamburgers and hot dogs for the children though.”

Riggs along with the entire Scotland County Sheriff’s Office is excited for their first year singing gospel and attending the relay with a team.

Riggs had a word of advice for those attending Relay on Oct. 2-3 at Pate Stadium: “Bring tissues.”

By Abby Hackmann

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Abby Hackmann can be reached at 910-506-3171.

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