Relay chairwoman defends decision to end event early
On Aug. 3- 4, the Relay For Life of Stillwater was held at the Stillwater Area Senior High School. Our Relay is a 24-hour event, but due to weather conditions this year we were forced to suspend our event. That decision has caused quite a bit of discussion, and I would like to explain why we suspended our Relay.
On Friday night, a thunderstorm came through that wiped out most of our large tents. All the silent auction tents collapsed and many were destroyed, as was our information booth tent and one of our large tents that we used as a gathering place. We were able to get the majority of the participants off the track and into the school where they sat out the storm.
But as the threatening weather left the area and we surveyed the damage and started our clean up, it became apparent that we had a big job ahead of us. We were also informed that all Relays in the area shut down on Friday night due to the storm.
As we started our clean up, we realized the extent of the damages. We spent the better part of Saturday morning cleaning up the area. As we watched the weather radar, it indicated another storm was on the way. We moved some of our Saturday events up in time, and the Relay committee made the decision at about noon Saturday to stop the Relay.
We do know that it was not a very popular decision and that some participants are very upset with us for making it. As a committee, we have to error on the side of safety. We will not put lives in danger. I want everyone to know that this was not an easy decision to make.
As chair of our Relay, I take complete responsibility for the event ending early, and I stand by the decision that was made.