Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

March 28, 2013

No lights means Relay move

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — No lights means a big change for an annual Garvin County event this summer that typically brings people into Pauls Valley from all over the area.

Volunteers with the countywide Relay For Life event learned earlier this week the lights at PV’s football stadium will not be up and operating when this year’s gathering takes place in early June.

That means another site will be needed to host the event meant to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

Ginger Beck says the news has a definite impact on this year’s Relay event.

“As of right now we will not have the Relay For Life at the Pauls Valley stadium due to the lights,” Beck said.

“We’ve been scrambling to find somewhere else to hold this year’s Relay,” she said.

“It’s a big deal. We are working at finding another place right now.”

For many years the Relay event covering most if not all of Garvin County is held at the stadium located in Pauls Valley’s Wacker Park.

That looks likely to change because of a school building project involving the Panthers’ football fieldhouse.

As part of a school bond issue approved by local voters a year ago, the fieldhouse is being completely renovated and expanded.

An extension of that project will be brand new lights going up at the stadium, which is located right next to the PV fieldhouse.

Pauls Valley’s school athletic director, Kirk Moore, says there’s probably only a small chance the new lights will be in place by the time Relay For Life rolls around on June 7-8.

“I can’t guarantee those will be up,” Moore said about the lights. “There is a possibility but no way to guarantee it.

“It would be terrible to have everything planned for the Relay and then not have the lights up,” he said.

“If they can find an alternate location I would advise it, at least for this one year.”

The site of the Relay For Life event is important because residents from all over the county will gather in that one place in a concerted effort to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

The effort includes teams of people who start the event at 7 p.m. on a Friday and remain at the site until 7 a.m. the following morning.

Beck said on Wednesday she and other volunteers are looking at other football stadiums in the county and possibly other sites that might be able to host a Relay event.

Beck, who lives in Wynnewood, said the football stadium there is also unavailable because workers are in the middle of a renovation project to those facilities.

Even with the expected change in venue this year’s Relay will still feature a number of fundraising related activities leading up to the summer.

Up next is a “Hauling for a Cure” 5K run and walk hosted by the Pink Ladies Relay team during the Footloose Festival in Elmore City on April 20.

Cash prizes are planned for the winners and those who pre-register by April 1 are guaranteed to get an event T-shirt. Call Amanda Winkler at 405-207-8622 for more.