SIDNEY — Relay for Life of Shelby County will be kicking off on the right foot this year, having already surpassed its $50,000 goal.
“Without being able to have one last year, I think a lot of people also saved what they may have wanted to give last year, and gave it this year. I think people are anxious to get back to normal, and now we’re moving to downtown, we’re starting fresh, we’re starting new. I think it’s going to be a really good thing,” Kathy Marsh, member of the event leadership team for Relay for Life of Shelby County, said.
Currently, a total of $51,055.86 has been raised, with the relay to run from 5 to 11 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 6, at courtsqure in downtown Sidney.
The primary reason the Relay for Life of Shelby County is moving from the fairgrounds to Courtsquare this year is due to a shortage of teams participating in the relay. Despite a smaller-sized relay, 13 teams will be participating. Teams include Ferguson Construction Company, A Family Affair, Connection Point Church, Minster High School Student Council, Sidney First United Methodist Church, Feathers of the Phoenix, U.S. Bank, Chelsea’s Squad, Mutual Federal, Wilson Health, Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club, Shelby County ELT and Beanz.
With the relay moving downtown, it will also be shorter this year. Team booths will still open at 5 p.m., with the opening ceremonies beginning at 5:50 p.m. followed by the Survivor Lap at 6 p.m. The Luminaria Ceremony will begin at 9 p.m. The raffle auction will run from 5 to 10:30 p.m., with winners being drawn at 10:30 p.m. Closing ceremonies will begin at 10:50 p.m. Activities such as the frozen t-shirt contest will happen throughout the evening. Marsh said that she hopes the move to downtown will give the relay more visibility with the community.
”I think now that we’re regrouping — the courthouse will accommodate a lot of teams if we can back to where we were. It’ll just be a different norm, a new norm. We’ll have a new way of doing things, and I think it’ll be exciting for everyone to be front and center, in the town, support what’s much needed for finding a cure for that awful, dreaded disease,” Marsh said. “I’m really hopeful that we get a bigger turnout than expected.”
Marsh, who is the team leader for the Ferguson team, raised $840 of her personal $100 goal for relay. The Ferguson team as a whole has raised $21,175 for the fundraiser, surpassing their goal of $5,000 by over four times the amount. The Ferguson team has participated in relay every year since 2008; previously, they had participated in relay but stopped when the original team leaders were relocated to a different Ferguson branch.
“I’m so humbled. I’m so proud to be a Ferguson employee, and I’m super honored that they’ve given me the opportunity to be their relay leader. The reason I relay is because I lost my father to that disease. I was — the best word I can say is angry. I was so angry there wasn’t a cure. He lost his life much too young,” Marsh said.
An only child, Marsh classified herself as “dumb and naive” when it came to navigating through her father’s diagnosis and treatment. She said that while she and her mother listened to everything the doctors said and followed their orders to the letter, she never thought to ask more questions or say more because she didn’t have the knowledge she’s gained through working with Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society.
“Knowledge is power — that’s what I’m gaining through the relay, and giving and doing as much as I can to say, ‘hey, ask questions. Talk to these people. There’s a vast amount of people with the ACS who can help you, give you information, and point you in the right direction that we had no idea about until it was too late or over.’ I’m glad to be part of it and help others,” Marsh said.
The Relay for Life of Shelby County will be held Friday, Aug. 6 from 5 to 11 p.m. at Courtsquare in downtown Sidney. For anyone wanting to join the relay or volunteer in other ways, visit https://secure.acsevents.org/site/STR?pg=entry&fr_id=100003 or https://www.facebook.com/groups/3699083853554371
Reach the writer at [email protected]