SIDNEY — The 2021 Relay for Life of Shelby County raised a total of $73,763.36 by the end of the Friday, Aug. 6 event, well ahead of their $50,000 goal.
“We have an advantage over cancer because of the generosity of people. We have courage, hope, empathy and determination, and together, we can make the greatest impact to save lives,” Mark Kaufman, associate pastor of connecting and missions at Connection Point Church of God and master of ceremonies, said.
While all state-mandated health orders and restrictions for gatherings were lifted by Gov. Mike DeWine on June 2, the American Cancer Society didn’t allow any in-person events like Relay for Life until Aug. 1. Many who participate in relay, including event leadership team member Rhonda Pence, were excited to be one of the first Ohio counties to have a relay event. Friday’s relay brought in hundreds of people, from cancer survivors to those currently battling the disease to caregivers and community members showing support.
“It was the best news possible, and this is just phenomenal. We’re totally shocked that it is how it is right now. You would think that the community is scared to get out, but they’re out and they really know how to support this organization,” Pence said.
Thirteen teams with a total of 73 members participated in Relay for Life of Shelby County this year to raise the $73,763.36. Teams included Ferguson Construction Company, A Family Affair, Connection Point Church, Sidney First United Methodist Church, Minster High School Student Council, Feathers of the Phoenix, Wilson Health, Chelsea’s Squad, U.S. Bank, Mutual Federal, Mandalroian Mercs Costume Club, Shelby County ELT, and Beanz. All money raised will go to the American Cancer Society to be put toward cancer research, education, advocacy, and health equity, as well as services that have helped cancer patients in Shelby County.
“The research, the programs, the services that relay has provided for cancer patients in the area — it’s just phenomenal. Drives to and from chemo treatments, reimbursements for gas, sometimes just a meal, sometimes just a friendly face and someone to talk to — it’s a reminder that you’re not going through it alone,” Pence said.
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