Relay For Life of Fayette County is gearing up for its 21st event on June 7. The event lasts from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Washington High School track.
Prior to the event, there will be a dinner for cancer survivors in the Washington High School cafeteria. Survivors can register to attend with one guest. There will be transportation provided for the survivors from their dinner in the cafeteria, to the track and then to their cars. The survivor chairperson this year is Shelah Campbell. She can be reached at 740-505-5490 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Luminary Ceremony is a pause in walking and fundraising during the relay when the track is lit with candles inside milk jugs. They can be purchased online or with a form for $10 in honor of people who have passed from or are currently battling cancer. The names of those people are read off during the luminary service and there is an honorary lap. According to Beth Blair, one of the event chairwomen, all proceeds from the luminaries go to the cancer society.
Sponsorships are welcomed. Blair explained, “Depending on the level of sponsorship, we do put the names on the back of our shirt.” Ruth Ann Ruth, the other event chairwoman, is the person to contact for providing sponsorship. Ruth can be reached at 740-335-1331 or at email@example.com
Teams can be formed and registered online. An example of a team would be coworkers at a business, their family and friends. There are smaller and larger numbers on different teams. At the event, teams have their own campsite and are encouraged to decorate it, set up a fundraiser during the event to draw people in, and to have at least one team member walking the track at all times.
Team members who raise $100 can become a Hope Club member. This will win them a relay t-shirt that can be worn at any time, including during the event. The $100 can provide 10 free rides to and from treatments, one-on-one support from a survivor to a breast cancer patient, and access for one female patient to confidence-building workshops.
Any team that raises $1,000 or more before the event is provided a tent for the event. Options for fundraising both before and during the event are numerous. Teams cannot duplicate what other teams have already registered to sell at the relay except for bottles of water. Visit RelayForLife.org/getstarted for fundraising ideas.
According to the American Cancer Society on www.cancer.org, they have invested over $4.6 billion in research since 1946: 73 years worth of fundraising. The website says, “To accelerate progress against cancer – all cancers – we will double our annual research investment to $250 million a year by 2021.”
Blair said, “It’s really inspirational when we have a lot of teams there.” She expressed concern over the number of teams dwindling the past few years. She would love to see high energy at the event and an increase in younger people’s participation.
“[Cancer] touches everybody. So, this year I would love for people just to realize that. If they could come out and do anything, just come out for an hour and just walk around, the bonding during that whole thing is amazing.”
Blair explained with passion, “I do not want my daughters or my granddaughters to go through what I went through. It would be great if in my lifetime they could find a cure.”
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @kenanipel