SIDNEY — Shelby County Relay for Life opened its 2017 fundraising season, Thursday, Feb. 16, with balloons, bingo and touching personal stories.
About 80 people attended the kickoff for events that will culminate with an all-night fundraiser, Aug. 4-5, to raise money for the American Cancer Society (ACS).
They celebrated the successes of 2016, including awards from ACS for exceeding the fundraising goal, having the largest increase in participation by cancer survivors in the Ohio/Pennsylvania region and for ranking No. 10 in the nation for per capita fundraising in this population “bucket.”
Shelby County Event Co-Leaders Annette and Bob Schroelucke, of Sidney, announced this year’s theme: It’s Game Over for Cancer. People in attendance played relayopoly and bingo to get the theme going.
Members of the leadership team spoke — sometimes through tears — about why they “relay”: to honor family members and friends who have suffered from the disease and to do whatever they can for a cure.
“I don’t want my children to have to relay,” one said.
Survivors in attendance were acknowledged and a luminaria ceremony with glow sticks took place. It symbolized the always moving ceremony that is presented during the relay, itself.
Attendees also saw two short videos of cancer researchers describing the work they do and how ACS funds support it.
Some fundraising has already begun for this year and two returning teams were recognized, Thursday. The Connection Point Church of God and Peerless Food Equipment teams have donated $1,600 and $3,000, respectively, to date.
Bob reported that 23 teams have registered to participate. More teams are welcome. He also noted that several volunteers are needed for leadership positions. The organization is looking for people to fill the roles of youth champion, to engage schools, youth groups and young people; corporate sponsorship lead, to solicit corporate sponsorships; people lead, to recruit teams; and experience lead to oversee and manage the overnight event.
During the kickoff, attendees enjoyed pizza donated by Cassano’s and other snacks.
Anyone interested in volunteering should call 492-2191.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.