In response to the Canal Winchester City Council article, “CW presses grant applicants,” in the Feb. 9 Southeast Messenger, The Canal Winchester Relay for Life has been a prominent and successful non-profit event in our community for nearly 10 years. All members of the committee, past and present, are sincerely grateful for the generous funding the city has given our event throughout the years. However, it is disheartening to read an article containing inaccuracies regarding our use of city funds and compliance with procedures.
As this year’s chairperson, I personally wrote and submitted the 2013 event summary to the city finance director, Ms. Jackson, in the fall, after discussing with her that our event concludes on Aug. 31 of each year. My letter, dated Sept. 11, 2013, shows both direct and indirect expenses incurred from the event, which total well over the $2,500 granted by the city. I expressly included my contact information, in the event more information was needed to document the use of the grant money. In addition, I worked closely with previous committee members, Malinda Sullivan and Heather Bolin, as well as our American Cancer Society Relay for Life Specialist, Emily Baker, to ensure our documentation was thorough and accurate. The committee has never received a request for further documentation; however, the 2013 report can be re-submitted, if needed.
Some of the Relay for Life Committee members felt the overall tone of the article could shed an unfavorable light on our event and be a deterrent for community members to participate. We welcome any questions or requests for information regarding the use of city funds, as well as any money donated to our event.
Melissa Weller, Relay for Life Chair
Emily Baker, ACS Relay for Life Specialist