Sidney — As purple ribbons blossom all around town, citizens know Relay For Life is on the horizon. The event will take place at Shelby County Fairgrounds Aug. 5 at 6 p.m. until Aug. 6 at 11 a.m.
Any businesses that have not been contacted but would like to have the purple ribbon and event dates painted on their windows can call 937-492-2191 and leave a message.
The annual Relay For Life is the result of tireless work by team members. Teams participate in varied activities to raise funds for the cause of finding a cure for cancer. The website reports that, “Over 4 million people in over 20 countries raise much-needed funds and awareness to save lives from cancer through the Relay For Life movement.”
The teams are made up by cancer survivors, people who have family members with cancer, and people who want to help find a cure for the disease which effects so many. All of the proceeds are donated to the American Cancer Society.
Annette and Bob Schroerlucke have been co-leads of the Shelby County Relay for last year and have been involved with the Relay for several years. They have watched the number of volunteers grow each year. There are currently 44 teams in Shelby County and more than 30 are holding on-site fundraisers at the event.
“The teams can celebrate any holiday they want with their fundraising. There will be a wide variety of raffles. The teams will put together baskets around a theme. There are really too many to mention. A lot of foods are being offered, as well. We have Lemon Shake-ups, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, chicken dinners, walking tacos, popcorn, cookies, soft serve ice cream, pizza, hamburgers, nachos, and on Saturday morning, there’s a pancake breakfast,” said Bob Schroerlucke.
In addition, there will be a dunk tank and an auction premiering a guitar signed by Dierks Bentley, headliner at this year’s Country Concert.
This year, the Relay’s theme is “Holidays of Hope.” In keeping with the theme, the teams have a variety of activities in which to participate, celebrating many holidays throughout the event.
At 6 p.m on Aug. 5, the event will kick off with the opening ceremony, followed by the Survivor/Caregiver lap. A dinner will be served for survivors after the lap. Those wishing to participate only need to sign up as a survivor. Survivors will also receive a free T-shirt and a gift bag.
Immediately following the Survivor lap will be the Team lap. Volunteers will continue with the laps while other activities take place.
At 6:45 p.m. there will be a Sock and Buskins performance at the entertainment stage. The teams will be holding a baked goods auction at 7:30 p.m.
At 8 p.m. the first theme lap will begin. The first holiday to be celebrated is Halloween with the trick-or-treat lap where participants are encouraged to wear a family appropriate costume of their choice. Teams will bring candy to pass out to trick-or-treaters.
The luminaria lighting will take place at 9 p.m.
“It’s a very moving event. Our largest amount of attendance is for that event. It’s a really nice ceremony, very touching. Anybody can buy a luminaria in honor of a friend, relative, or anybody they know who has either survived cancer or has been taken by cancer or currently has cancer. They are $10 apiece. We line the whole walking track with the luminaria, and we have a speaker who gives a brief invocation. There will be a brief ceremony honoring those that either have cancer or have overcome cancer or have died from cancer. The names from each luminaria are read,” said Schroerlucke.
The Miss and Miss-ter Relay Contest will occur at 10 p.m. The couples, having dressed as the opposite sex, will compete by the total funds raised within one half hour after their introduction. After the winner is announced, the participants will be invited to join in bingo.
At midnight, New Years will be celebrated with a countdown and ball drop. Activities will continue throughout the night with a lip sync contest at 1 a.m. and line dancing at 2 a.m. Yard games will round out the night along with a St. Patrick’s Day theme lap at 3 a.m. and a Christmas lap at 5.
Registration for the Fight Back 5k run/walk begins at 6:30 a.m. with the race beginning at 7 a.m. Those wishing to compete can pre-register at www.cantstoprunningco.com. The morning continues with the Saturday Morning Auction at 8 a.m. and an Easter Egg Hunt at 8:30 a.m. Participants must bring their own baskets.
At 9:30 a.m., participants can enjoy watching the Small Fry Tri which consists of a one lap race for 2-6 year olds. Children must bring their own helmet and tricycle or bike.
The Road to Recovery Race starts at 10 a.m. Each team can enter one “car” and two team members. The cars must be made of cardboard and held together with only tape or glue. The race honors the Road to Recovery program in which volunteers provide transportation to appointments for cancer treatment for patients who are unable to transport themselves.
The closing ceremony begins at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.
“The closing ceremony celebrates what we all just accomplished together. It’s also a time to remember the lives of those lost, and to commit to continuing the fight against this disease over the next year,” reports www.relay.acsevents.org.
“It’s a great local event, and the community supports it very well. We’ve got a very strong local community, and we appreciate all the help. We couldn’t do it without all the help. Airstream and Honda are our key corporate sponsors. We have raised over $52,000 and are hoping to more than double that before the end of the event,” said Schroerlucke.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.