Expectations for the 19th Annual Relay For Life of Ardmore are high, as a new format will be put in place.
Rather than walking for a cure throughout the evening until the early morning, the event will start at noon with teams setting up and ending at midnight. The schedule of events calls for the opening lap to take place at 7 p.m. with the Luminary Ceremony at 10 p.m.
Event Chair Kelly Murphy Fryer said 27 teams, 10 more than last year, will participate in the relay at Noble Stadium Friday.
"The biggest challenge for people has been staying up all night," Fryer said. "Team captains are feeling defeated. There are only a few teams that stay up all night and the ones that leave feel bad and they shouldn't."
Fryer said weather has also taken its toll on participants as well, with temperatures reaching into the 100's. As a member of the National Leadership Training Team for the American Cancer Society Relay, Fryer discussed the format change with leadership before moving forward.
"Some events have lasted 24 hours, but we have 100 degree temperature heat," Fryer said. "We've got to change with society. We have to change the way we meet the needs of the people that support relay. I don't have any doubts about the change. The team captains are the ones that really drive the boat. When I presented it to them, I did not get any negative feedback."
The theme for the relay is "Dreaming in Color of a Cancer Free World." The teams will each represent a different cancer and wear T-shirts with a color designated to represent the different cancers.
A DJ will provide music during the event and Disney Princesses will provide entertainment. The hot babe contest will also return as a selected group of men will be introduced and receive a 15-minute gender makeover.
"We will also have a big surprise at midnight," Fryer said. "There will be tons of food and games. This is the first time we have had this much food."
The 2012 relay raised over $70,000 for the Cancer Society. This year, Fryer said fundraising efforts are going well, but a goal is not what is important.
"The goal is not about money," Fryer said. "The thing I want to get away from is putting a price on lives. We have just asked teams to do a little bit more."