Jim Sánchez/ Conexion San Ángelo

SAN ANGELO –Karen Gray, American Cancer Society’s representative, was one blur-in-motion when Conexión met in her office for an interview. If you were to describe what color her world represented this week, it would be red—like the fictional superhero, Flash, which is the opposite of this year’s 22nd Annual Relay For Life color--purple.


Gray, who is ACS’s Community Manager for Relay For Life, was busy Wednesday morning trying to finish up touches for today’s RFL event which takes place this year at 1st Community Federal Credit Union Spur Arena.

Karen informed Conexión that the RFL event was transferred from Lake View High School to the Spur Arena due to possible bad weather.

As for why the color purple was chosen, it is the recognized as the internationally color for a cancer survivor. 

Although this is Gray’s, first year to be the point person for RFL in tom Green County, she is also responsible for Val Verde’s RFL in Del Rio.

“I’ve always been behind-the-scenes in volunteer situations, not specifically with American Cancer, but a lot of organizations here in Tom Green County,” said Gray. 

Gray stated as the lead role person, she take a lot of pride in what she and her volunteers do to make RFL such a success. “My job is give them what they need.”

Gray mentioned that approximately 50 volunteers made up of Goodfellow Air Force Base personnel, Angelo State University students, plus 22 members from Relay For Life’s event leadership team will be on hand to help out with this evening’s event which starts at 7 p.m. and concludes at 3 a. m. 

Prior to that though is a Survivor of Hope reception where Amanda Terry, a breast cancer survivor, is the Hero of Hope, speaker.

When RFL officially gets underway, survivors of cancer will be the first ones to take the field and the first lap. The second time around the track, their caregivers will accompany them. On the third lap, RFL’s team captains will join them. Afterward the track will be open to all participants.  

As for Val Verde’s RFL, it will take place in the Del Rio Civic Center from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Del Rio’s RFL theme is "Relay Around the World".

“Each of Del Rios' 25 teams will celebrate a different country such as Venezuela, Australia, England, Argentina and México,” said Gray.

The leadership team coordinator for Val Verde’s RFL is Sharon Ansick, while Tom Green County’s RFL lead team person is Carol Kohutek. “I spent all day Wednesday with Del Rio’s RFL team and they are all ready to go,” concluded Gray.

If the weather should turn bad here locally, Gray stated that RFL does have an emergency plan in place to address that situation.

FMI, go to: http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?fr_id=82853&pg=entry

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