AP NEWS

Drag show to benefit local Relay for Life

April 14, 2019

HUNTINGTON — Marshall University will host the third annual “Queens Slay Cancer” drag show fundraiser for the local Relay for Life on April 26 at the Memorial Student Center’s Room BE5.

The event is sponsored by the university’s LGBTQ+ office, with proceeds going toward Tri-State Relay for Life benefiting the American Cancer Society.

“Cancer doesn’t discriminate, and there’s a large population within the LGBTQ population that we need to make sure we’re supporting,” Holly Durham, Relay for Life community manager, said, ” because cancer affects everybody.”

Organized by Huntington drag entertainer Michael Gordon, who performs as Elena Nicole Stone, 14 local queens will take the stage for a night of comedy and fun dance numbers. It’ll be an eyeful, as Gordon described it, but still a PG-13 show appropriate for all ages.

“It’s something that not a lot of people think of when they think of a benefit like this, so it’s nice to bring together two worlds colliding like this,” Gordon said.

“It’s good to see people together for something they may not normally go to but to support the cause, and they’ll see how much fun it is.”

The benefit has in the past raised around $2,000 for Relay for Life. The show is free, though donations are encouraged at the door, and all performer tips will be donated as well.

Doors open at 5 p.m., with the show beginning at 6 p.m.

Relay for Life of the Tri-Counties will begin at 6 p.m. May 17 at Ritter Park in Huntington. The annual preceding survivors’ dinner will be at 6 p.m. May 2 at the St. Mary’s Conference Center in Huntington. Registration as a participant, survivor or a team can be made online at www.relayforlife.org/tricountieswv.

Relay for Life has annually raised around $80,000 benefiting the American Cancer Society to help fund research and local patient services, including the local Look Good Feel Better program, which provides wigs and makeup for people in cancer treatment.

The ultimate goal of a cure might remain elusive, but the progress is evident. The ACS reports the five-year relative survival rate for all cancers has risen to between 20 and 24% over the past 30 years.

“Cancer doesn’t discriminate, and there’s a large population within the LGBTQ population that we need to make sure we’re supporting.”

Holly Durham

Relay for Life community manager