LAURINBURG — A local musician is making his way to the top while supporting one of the largest fundraisers in Scotland County.
Eli Raybon, son of Tina and Kelvin Raybon, will be playing after the Relay for Life luminaries ceremony at 9:30 p.m. Friday. Raybon plans on selling CD’s during the event with proceeds going to the fight to cure cancer.
The 24-hour Relay for Life will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday at Scotland High School’s Pate Stadium. Opening ceremonies will be held at 6 p.m. There is also a Colors For Hope 5K planned for 9 a.m. Saturday.
This is Raybon’s fourth time playing at Relay and the 18-year-old considers himself a veteran.
“The first time I played Relay was way back when I was 12,” Raybon said. “They actually came to me this year and asked me to play.”
Raybon is one of two performances planned for Friday evening. The local band Gravy Biscuits will also play.
“I play anything from Jimmy Buffett to Britney Spears songs,” he said. “I try not to put myself in too much of a box when it comes to style.”
Raybon says he will also be performing rap music. He won the ExtraTV/YouTube Rap Challenge in 2013.
“I’ll be performing a lot of pop, like Ed Sheeran and Britney spears, another fun thing to do live is rap,” he said. “People really like my rap mash-up of “Ice Ice Baby,” “Whoomp! There It Is” and a few other things.”
Playing at Relay is more than a gig for Raybon and his family. Raybon’s father, Dr. Kelvin Raybon is the lead medical oncologist at Scotland Cancer Treatment Center.
“I am excited for him because Relay is for what my husband does, he’s a cancer doctor,” said Eli’s Raybon’s mom, Tina. “It’s always a special place because you see all the survivors and you celebrate them or you see all the ones who passed away during the luminaries ceremony.”
Tina Raybon said she excited to see her son supporting the cause along with the rest of the community.
“Even though we’re from a very poor county, it is incredible the amount of money they receive during Relay,” she said. “Typically they’ll be number one in contribution.”
Eli Raybon will also be performing at the Cypress Bend Vineyards from 10 to 2 p.m. Thursday. There will be about 1,150 cyclists with the Cycle North Carolina bike tour coming through.
Eli Raybon hopes to play as many gigs as he can in the next year while he takes time off before starting at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.
“Hopefully in the next couple months I can go and see the world and hit the road,” he said. “I would like to do a tour, they might be house concerts, but it’s definitely an option.”
Abby Hackmann can be reached at 910-506-3171.