The American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Starke County kicked off their event on Thursday as volunteers and participants gathered at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Knox to launch their fundraising efforts for the year.
Although there’s more than six months left to go before the Relay event, it’s still the perfect time to get involved, and more than 80 people did as the event boasted a terrific turnout. Attendees received information about the different ways to get involved in Relay and witnessed a moving Luminaria Ceremony honoring cancer survivors and remember those lost to the disease.
Publicity Chairperson Megan Hamand said packets were handed out to team captains, giving them information on how to get their teams going, fundraising ideas, Luminaria sell-sheets, and instructions on how to get their teams signed up online. Hamand said the kick-off event went extremely well and the excitement is building for the event.
“It was a great event! We had probably about 80 people there, which is a great attendance for kick-off, and it was just very energetic – I mean, people got really excited about what’s coming up. We had a nice entrance, people were dancing and standing up and cheering and clapping and going crazy for Relay, because I don’t know if you know, but Relayers are a little enthusiastic,” Hamand said.
But the event wasn’t all excitement, Hamand said. Part of the kick-off was dedicated to reflecting on the motivation that drove many to join.
“We also had some nice somber moments when we could really reflect on the reasons why we’re there – you know, are you Relaying because of your mother, your father, your grandparents, or friends or coworkers – so it really reminded us all why we work so hard to make Relay for Life a great event,” Hamand said.
This year’s goal, Hamand said, is $60,000, with the theme of “Colors of Cancer.” The event will be held at the Starke County Fairgrounds in Hamlet on June 7 and 8. Hamand said a big part of the focus of this year’s kick off was American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, which Hamand said is a spectacular advocacy group aimed at helping pass legislation to benefit cancer survivors and improve health.