WILMINGTON — Clinton County has been a Relay For Life community since 1997, which makes this year’s event the 20th annual Relay fundraiser held here.
During that time, Relay For Life of Clinton County has generated about $1.7 million to go toward American Cancer Society-funded cancer research, patient support, prevention information and education, and detection and treatment.
About 50 people turned out at the fellowship hall in the Wilmington United Methodist Church on a cold Saturday morning to get a running start for the Saturday, June 25 Relay.
Through votes cast via purple chips, attendees picked a western theme for this summer’s 12-hour event at the J.W. Denver Williams Jr. Memorial Park: “Give Cancer the Boot.”
Participants are encouraged to set up their site areas to reflect the theme, and there are “theme laps” when walkers in costume will travel around the track or path.
Saturday’s kickoff event, like the summer fundraiser, included games, survivor recognition, music, food, a luminaria activity, and both light-hearted and serious moments.
Attendees were asked to write down their favorite part of Relay. Their answers included: “food and fun and friends;” “seeing folks from our community come together;” “the theme laps;” “survivors;” “Luminaria ceremony;” and “cause, people, Mr. and Mrs. Relay, games, booths, music.”
Fundraising occurs before and during Relay where the teams keep the donations coming with bouncy house tickets, $3 lap-bead necklaces for walkers, and food booths.
The event will run 12 hours, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. June 25.
There is still time to form a team and be a Relay participant, but interested individuals, families, clubs, churches and businesses should wait no longer than March to make their commitment, said Janet Barrett of the FCC (First Christian Church) Disciples of Christ team.
For more information, please visit www.relayforlife.org/ClintonCounty or you can contact this region’s American Cancer Society staff partner Jodi Zerbe at email@example.com or at 888-227-6446 ext. 4217.
Werner’s Smokehouse BBQ Restaurant prepared and donated hot lunch for the kickoff event.
Relay For Life had its beginnings in Tacoma, Wash. in 1985.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.