Meeting kicks off Relay for Life


By Patricia Ann Speelman - pspeelman@aimmedianetwork.com



Nicole Bolin, of Piqua, sits next to a luminaria she made listing the people who have motivated her to participate in Relay for Life of Shelby County. Bolin was attending the event kickoff at Connection Point Church of God Thursday, Feb. 18.

Nicole Bolin, of Piqua, sits next to a luminaria she made listing the people who have motivated her to participate in Relay for Life of Shelby County. Bolin was attending the event kickoff at Connection Point Church of God Thursday, Feb. 18.


SIDNEY — Members of the Shelby County Relay for Life took the first step toward their $125,500 goal Thursday night by kicking off the local 2016 American Cancer Society fundraising that will culminate in August with an overnight event at the Shelby County fairgrounds.

The kickoff, at the Connection Point Church of God here, was attended by about 35 team leaders, event leaders and other supporters. It featured testimonies and games designed to inspire participants to action for the cause.

This year’s theme is Holiday of Hope. Attendees were greeted by Rhonda Pence, bedecked in Easter rabbit-ear headband, Christmas sweatshirt, Valentine eyeglasses, Halloween earrings and St. Patrick’s Day necklace.

Event leaders Annette and Bob Schroerlucke, of Sidney, opened the meeting by acknowledging survivors and caregivers. Bob recounted his experience in caring for this father, who suffered from lung cancer and chose not to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

“Until we can say to someone, ‘We have a cure,’ our work is not done,” Bob said. “When someone says, ‘Why do you relay?’ I do it for my dad and everybody else who has cancer.”

Annette encouraged teams to be creative in designing decorations for event campsites in August and for fundraisers throughout the year.

“Holiday doesn’t have to be Christmas. It could be Groundhog Day, President’s Day, the day spring begins, Memorial Day, Mother’s Day, Flag Day,” she said. “We’ll let you guys go wild and decorate any way you want.”

Brenda Siegel described a luminaria ceremony that will be part of the August overnight event and Thursday’s participants used glow sticks to created luminaria in honor of their relatives and friends who were cancer victims.

Bob announced that there are two important positions on the leadership team that need to be filled: the relay day event leader, who oversees the Aug. 5 proceedings, and a logistics leader, who is responsible for working with the fair board, assigning campsites at the fairgrounds, assuring trash removal and other facility-based processes. Anyone interested in volunteering for either position — or in joining a team to help in some other capacity — can call 492-2191.

Pence then encouraged people to join the cancer society’s Cancer Action Council, a grassroots lobbying organization.

“We contact legislators. We tell them what we want and need to fight cancer. The more voices, the better chance we have to get money to fight cancer and anti-smoking laws and support for screenings,” she said.

Team ambassadors Deb Kaufman and Patty Wood explained that they’d be sending emails to team captains to offer fundraising challenges from month to month. Kaufman announced that the Shelby County group had won an inflatable arch to use in August by getting the most new team members in the region during a four-day period last month. Current team captains recruited 138 people.

Annette reported that to date, $11,869.80 has been raised.

The 2016 leadership team also includes Eileen Ferree, Joan Radick and Katie Koester, responsible for accounting; Mindy Hiler and Hazel Donahue, survivors and caregivers; Brenda Barhorst, Darryl Mann and Alex Wood, entertainment; Erica Press, luminaria; Kathy Marsh, signs; Megan Williams, website; and Josh Moore, event specialist.

Additional planning meetings will be March 17, April 21, May 19 and June 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the Connection Point Church of God, and July 14 at 6:30 p.m at the fairgrounds.

Nicole Bolin, of Piqua, sits next to a luminaria she made listing the people who have motivated her to participate in Relay for Life of Shelby County. Bolin was attending the event kickoff at Connection Point Church of God Thursday, Feb. 18.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2016/02/web1_SDN022016RelayLife.jpgNicole Bolin, of Piqua, sits next to a luminaria she made listing the people who have motivated her to participate in Relay for Life of Shelby County. Bolin was attending the event kickoff at Connection Point Church of God Thursday, Feb. 18.

By Patricia Ann Speelman

pspeelman@aimmedianetwork.com

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.