Relay for Life hits the ground running to main event on Aug. 5


By Charlotte Caldwell - [email protected]



Cancer survivors take the first lap around the courtsquare at the start of the 2021 Relay For Life. This year’s Relay for Life will be held Aug. 5.

Cancer survivors take the first lap around the courtsquare at the start of the 2021 Relay For Life. This year’s Relay for Life will be held Aug. 5.


SIDNEY – Events and registration are underway for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of Shelby County leading up to the main event on Aug. 5, 2022, at courtsquare in downtown Sidney.

This year’s theme is “Celebrate Shelby County,” and the goal is to raise $75,000 by the date of the event. As of May 17, participants have already raised $11,298.41, and sponsors include the Sidney Daily News, U.S. Bank, Mutual Federal, Wilson Health, Connection Point Church and Ferguson Construction Company.

Upcoming events associated with Relay for Life include the Fighting Cancer on Wheels Car Show, which will be on June 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 101 N. Lane St. in Port Jefferson, and County Concert 22, which will be on July 7 through 9 in Fort Loramie. There is also a team challenge to sell as many luminarias (paper lanterns) as possible by the next meeting on June 14.

There is no deadline to sign up for events, but July 14 is the deadline for the survivor’s lap if participants want a T-shirt.

On Aug. 5, registration will start at 4:15 p.m. and the opening ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. After that is the survivor/caregiver walk, the luminaria ceremony, and the closing ceremony around 11 p.m.

Relay for Life has had events in Shelby County for 22 years, and Rhonda Pence, an Event Leadership Team (ELT) committee member, has been involved in the event since the beginning. Pence’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer 22 years ago, and since then, she, her father, two sisters, aunt, sister-in-law, stepmother, and father-in-law have all had cancer.

Besides being an ELT committee member, Pence has previously held positions like Event Chair, Event Co-Chair, Logistics Chair, Luminaria Chair, and the Shelby County Cancer Advocate.

“I hoped that one day we could raise enough money to find a cure for all cancers,” Pence said as her reason for becoming involved in Relay for Life. She said she loves everything about the organization and the events they host, but the luminaria ceremony is the most emotional and touching part.

Kathy Marsh, also an ELT committee member, said her favorite parts are the luminaria ceremony, the survivor’s lap, and general community support and involvement.

“It is amazing when you watch and support those that attend the survivor’s lap – how many survivors or caregivers do you actually know and may not know anything about their struggle,” Marsh said.

Marsh and Pence shared some ways teams can raise money, including raffles, car washes, company dress-down days where employees wear jeans for a price, dinners, mowing yards, and candy sales. “Just about anything out there is a great idea,” Pence said.

This event holds significant importance in the community, and Pence and Marsh said it is because of how many people are affected by cancer or will be in the future.

“It is very important because cancer touches so many people every day, whether directly or through a friendship or work. We can all make a difference by working together and by raising funds for research to find that cure,” Pence said. “My hope is that one day no one will ever have to hear they have cancer. I can’t wait to celebrate one day when I hear they have found a cure.”

For more information about Relay for Life events in Shelby County, visit the website, https://secure.acsevents.org/site/STR?pg=entry&fr_id=102167 or the Facebook page, Relay For Life of Shelby County. Interested participants can also contact Pence at 937-638-3175 or email at [email protected], or Marsh at 937-498-2381 or email at [email protected]

Cancer survivors take the first lap around the courtsquare at the start of the 2021 Relay For Life. This year’s Relay for Life will be held Aug. 5.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/05/web1_SDN080721RelayLap.jpgCancer survivors take the first lap around the courtsquare at the start of the 2021 Relay For Life. This year’s Relay for Life will be held Aug. 5.

By Charlotte Caldwell

[email protected]

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.