If you have ever wanted to have your boss arrested for being a jerk, or the guy you’ve had a secret crush on for being too sexy, now is your chance.

The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department for the first time this year has put together a team for Relay For Life of Lauderdale County. The team has constructed a jail of sorts, and those participating in Relay For Life tonight at Ray Stadium can have members of other teams “arrested.”

Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun said it will cost $5 to swear out a warrant and $10 to post bond.

“It will be a fun event as well as a good way to raise money for Relay For Life,” Calhoun said.

Calhoun said the 8-foot-by-8-foot cell will be at the sheriff’s department’s booth. Those arrested will be given a prison outfit, and deputies will take a keepsake photo.

Sheriff Billy Sollie said fielding a team has special meaning to him; he lost both of his parents to cancer within 18 months of becoming sheriff in 1996.

“The effort our team has put forth to raise money for research has had special meaning to me, my family and the entire Lauderdale County team,” Sollie said.

The sheriff’s department team is one of 81 teams set to participate in the 12th annual Relay For Life.

Diane Burnham, chairman of Relay For Life, said this year’s fund-raising goal is $300,000. As of Tuesday, more than $230,000 had been raised. She said the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association also partnered to donate $1 million in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Burnham said this year’s event will kick off at 6 p.m. The survivor lap is at 7 p.m., followed by the opening ceremonies. Sam Long, cancer survivor and this year’s honorary chairman, will give his testimony, followed by a song he wrote, “Colonoscopy.”

Cancer survivors Virgie Palmer, Cathy Riley and Angie Boatner also plan to give their testimonies and sing.

Burnham said a new event, “Here’s a Quarter/Because I Care,” was established to raise even more money. She encouraged everyone to bring their quarters.

“After the luminaria ceremony, we will begin placing our quarters on the track,” she said.

She said organizers aren’t sure how many quarters it will take to go round the track, but they intend to find out — or to at least get a good idea. A scavenger hunt will be held at 4 a.m., and one team will raffle tickets for a guitar signed by country star Tim McGraw to be given away at midnight.

Team members also will wear pedometers to track how many steps are taken. She said tallies will be taken at different times during the night to coincide with the theme “The Power of a Million Footsteps.”

Burnham said it’s not too late to make a donation. For information, call the American Cancer Society at (601) 482-0082.


Here’s a look at tonight’s Relay For Life schedule. The annual all-night fund-raiser to benefit the American Cancer Society begins at 6 p.m. at Meridian High School’s Ray Stadium.

6 p.m. Survivor activities begin

Smart Shop

Campsite Judging

7 p.m. Survivor lap

7:30 p.m. Opening ceremonies

8:30 p.m. Team Lap

The Power of A Million Footsteps Lap

Contest begins

Team Banner Contest

9 p.m. Entertainment

10 p.m. Luminaria ceremony

11 p.m. Quarters Because You Care

Midnight Midnight snack

1 a.m. Karaoke begins

2 a.m. Bingo begins

2:30 a.m. Jammin’ Jammer Walk

3:30 a.m. Line Dancing

4 a.m. Amtrak Scavenger Hunt

5 a.m. Final lap

5:30 a.m. Closing ceremony

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