EUGENE, Ore. — The sun beamed down on Wolverine Stadium Wednesday afternoon as crews transformed Willamette High School’s football field and track into a stage for the 2012 Relay for Life.
“We’re ahead of schedule,” says Kristen Salladay, one of the event’s organizers. “They’re setting up the stage today and all the big tents are set up.”
Even so, there’s still a lot of work to do to get the field ready for the thousands of people who will show up on Friday.
“Right now, we have just more than 2,000 registered participants,” Salladay said. “[That's] pretty much where we were last year going in. Then, of course, we have all those people who come, just walk on, they fill out a small registration form at the gate and they come to enjoy the event.”
While one crew worked on the north side of the field building the entertainment stage, a volunteer on the opposite end worked on a temporary fence. In between, crews set up tables and chairs in the large tents lining the track.
“We actually figured out, in a perfect world, we could use about 700 volunteers to run event,” Salladay said. “We have a lot of volunteers this year, but we can always use more.”
Another thing the event needs more of: mascots. Organizers want to break a world record on Saturday. So far, only 140 mascots signed up to show up, but 167 are needed to get into Guinness.
The relay isn’t all fun and games, though; the event also highlights cancer survivors and victims.
“At 10 o’clock on Friday, the luminaria ceremony is just an awesome time to be here and honor someone who you love,” said Salladay. She added, the event’s entire 24 hours will be worth taking in once crews are done setting up.
Said Salladay: “We will just keep plugging along.”