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Survivor dinner, bank night kick off Relay weekend activities

The true spirit of Relay for Life will officially get under way today with two big events to kick off the festivities. The events will begin with Bank Day, which will kick off at 1 p.m. and continue until 5 p.m. at the Demopolis Civic Center.

Following Bank Day, the annual Survivor Dinner will begin. Peggy Dunklin, who is helping organize the event, said registration would begin an hour after Bank Day and would also he held at the civic center.

“We are going to have a 6 p.m. registration for the dinner,” Dunklin said. “At that time we will give them their t-shirts, medallions and everything else we have.”

The dinner will include barbecue, baked beans and all the trimmings and will begin at about 7 p.m. Dunklin said they would probably be done by about 8 p.m.

Dunklin said the dinner was a way to get all the survivors together before the initial lap Friday night.

“It is a sort of initiation to get them together before the walk,” Dunklin said. “It is a great way to organize things and let them get to know each other before the event.”

Invitations were given for the dinner, but it has been difficult to get to everyone. Dunklin said survivors who did not receive an invitation are still asked and encouraged to attend.

“Those who have not been contacted or received an invitation are still welcome to attend,” Dunklin said. “They are welcome to come and bring their spouses, caregivers or anyone they want.”

This year’s dinner will stray slightly from last years format. Dunklin said they pushed the dinner back to the night before the main event to make things easier for everyone.

“Last year we had the dinner before the walk and it was very hectic,” Dunklin said. “It takes such a long time to get everyone together and get them registered it was a hassle. We think this will be much better.”

Last year the dinner was a great success. Dunklin said she hoped to see a similar response this year. Maybe even stronger.

“We had 25 last year and that is not including the people they brought with them,” Dunklin said. “We hope to have that many, maybe more, this year.”