In our own Backyard

Story last updated at 3:02 PM on Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Homer is ready to relay.

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff writer


Photo by McKibben Jackinsky

Marilyn Parrett, event coordinator for the 2012 Relay For Life of Homer, decorates on Friday Cafe Cups with purple ribbons and balloons in appreciation of the restaurant's sponsorship of the event that benefits the American Cancer Society.

After weeks and months of planning, after knocking on the doors of family and friends to raise funds toward this year's $77,000 goal, more than 150 entrants in the 2012 Relay For Life of Homer tie on their shoes and take to the course at 6:15 p.m. Friday in front of Homer High School.

With more than $74,000 raised by Wednesday morning, Relay event coordinator Marilyn Parrett said, "I'm pretty excited. We're definitely going to make our goal."

Benefiting the American Cancer Society and patterned after relays held all over the world, momentum has been building as the start has drawn near.

A one-day, catch-and-release fishing tournament was held last Saturday. The event, organized by Dan Dickey, was in memory of Scott Harding, a Homer resident who died of multiple myeloma earlier this year.

Not to be outdone, Team Puppies, the youngest team in the Homer Relay, held a bake and lemonade sale and sold out shortly after it opened.

A first-time fun-run and walk was held Thursday with 39 people crossing the start and finish line at Alice's Champagne Palace. That was followed by the crew at Alice's serving a spaghetti dinner, with proceeds going to the Relay.

"For the first time around, I'm pretty pleased," Marilyn Parrett said of the fun run-walk and spaghetti dinner.

Volunteers turned out the following day to "paint the town purple." As a way to raise public awareness of Relay For Life, flags were placed at Veterans' Park, a banner has been put on display at the corner of Lake Street and the Sterling Highway, and balloons and ribbons in the color associated with Relay were spread by purple-clad volunteers along Pioneer Avenue, especially in front of businesses sponsoring Relay For Life.

"We want to thank the businesses for their support," said Parrett.

At least one activity has been held out of the area to benefit the Homer Relay. Over the weekend, a mini-relay was held on the North Slope by Harding's former co-workers.

Representatives from Tesoro are in town today to erect a large tent that will offer shelter in the event of rain and a place for spectators to view the luminaria ceremony and enjoy any of the entertainment during Relay.

"We're putting a contingency plan in place, hoping to have a ton of covered space," said Tammy Ackerman, Relay co-chair.

After the opening lap dedicated to cancer survivors officially begins the Relay at 6 p.m. Friday, team members will continue circling the course until closing ceremonies at 2 p.m. Saturday.

For a complete Relay schedule, to donate to the American Cancer Society, a Relay For Life of Homer team or a specific participant, or to purchase a luminary in memory or in honor of someone, visit or stop by the Relay in front of Homer High School.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at

2012 Relay For Life of Homer

Benefiting the American Cancer Society


In front of Homer High School



Noon: Teams begin setting up of team campsites

5 p.m.: Silent auction bidding opens, luminaria sales begin; survivor, caregiver, sponsor reception

6:15 p.m.: Opening ceremonies, color guard, Dottie Cline and the Methodist Church chorus perform; survivor recognition lap, caregiver/survivor lap; sponsor acknowledgement lap

11:15 p.m.: Luminaria ceremony, music by Amber Gauthier

Throughout relay: live music, team competitions, fun activities


8 a.m.: Breakfast provided by Kachemak Bay Lions Club

2 p.m.: Closing ceremonies

2:30 p.m.: Fundraising totals announced

to participate or for more information: