Relay for Life begins Friday

By Drew Stambaugh - [email protected]

WAUSEON – The 2016 Relay for Life of Fulton County kicks off Friday and runs through Saturday at noon. The annual event to raise awareness and funds to fight cancer is held at the Fulton County Fairgrounds north of Wauseon on State Route 108.

“People should come out to Relay for Life because it is a fun-filled family event that helps raise money for cancer research and local patient programs that help those who have or are receiving treatment get the help they need,” said Amanda Bird, Relay for Life of Fulton County chair. “There are activities for all ages, and all of the money raised goes to a great cause.”

She said it is also a great way for people who have been touched by cancer to share experiences with others. “Not all stories are the same, but it allows people to have that extra shoulder to lean on and reinforces to them that they are not alone and we are all in this fight together,” said Bird.

The opening ceremony begins Friday at 6 p.m., and brings everyone together for a high-energy event kickoff that celebrates the lives of those who have battled cancer. It also reminds everyone that, while we are winning this battle, fighting cancer is a year-round priority.

Anita Eckley of Swanton is this year’s Honorary Chair. She has long been involved with Relay for Life, including with the Swanton Relay for Life event that was previously held.

The Survivors Lap and Caregivers Lap also get started early on in the event on Friday. Cancer survivors take the first lap around the track. Cheered on by the other participants and the sound of upbeat music, the Survivors Lap lets all cancer survivors at the event celebrate their victory over cancer.

During the Caregivers Lap, anyone who ever cared for someone with cancer walks a special lap so they can be honored.

The Luminaria Ceremony is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. At the candlelight Luminaria Ceremony attendees remember loved ones lost to cancer, support people who currently have cancer, and honor people who fought cancer in the past.

A variety of other events are planned at the Relay for Life, which runs overnight. They include the always popular Miss Relay Contest, a scavenger hunt, Minute to Win It, life-sized Jenga, frozen turkey bowling, giant checks, and a Run for Relay 5K.

There will also be raffle drawings and auctions, and Rich Ford is sponsoring a Drive for Your Community where one driver per household can test-drive a vehicle and then complete a survey to raise $20.

The different teams may also have fundraisers at their individual sites.

This year, there is a country Western theme, “Give Cancer the Boot.”

Bird invited everyone out to have some fun at the Relay for Life on Friday and Saturday. “There is always something going on,” she said.

By Drew Stambaugh

[email protected]

Drew Stambaugh can be reached at 419-335-2010.

Drew Stambaugh can be reached at 419-335-2010.