GC takes aim at cancer in relay

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 Messenger photo by Andrea Cordle
 To raise awareness for the Grove City Relay for Life, community members painted the town purple. On June 7, dozens of residents placed posters and ribbons along Town Center streets to advertise the relay event June 20-21 at Grove City High School.

Grove City is ready to hit the track for the annual American Cancer Society (ACS) Relay for Life event.

More than 55 teams will walk or run around the Grove City High School track overnight on June 20-21 to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. Each team member is asked to raise a minimum of $100. They can ask for straight donations or hold a fund raiser, such as a bake sale or yard sale.

According to event chairwoman Kelly Cotton, last year the city relay event raised about $103,000 for the ACS. The goal this year is to raise $110,000.

Currently the top fund raising team is Saxton Real Estate, raking in approximately $5,458. The top participant is Pam Roemer who has raised nearly $3,000.

Relay for Life is an overnight event designed to celebrate cancer survivors and raise money for research and programs of the ACS. Each team is supposed to keep one member on the track at all times.

The popular relay event started in 1985 with one man – Dr. Gordy Klatt, a colorectal surgeon from Tacoma, Wash. According to the ACS, he spent 24 hours circling the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma.

Throughout the night, friends and family paid $25 to run or walk for 30 minutes with him. Nearly 300 watched as the doctor ran over 83 miles. He raised $27,000. His goal was to raise money for his local ACS office.

Klatt wanted to get others involved and pictured a relay event. He formed a committee and in 1986, 19 teams took part in the event and raised $33,000.

Today, more than three million Americans participate in relay events nationwide.

This is the eighth year Grove City has held a relay event. Since 2001, the city has raised more than $300,000 to aid in cancer research and advocacy.

The Grove City Relay for Life will begin June 20 at 7 p.m. and will run through the day on June 21 at Grove City High School. Cotton said there will be many events in addition to the relay. There will be a community yard sale on Saturday from 7 to 10 a.m. There will also be the traditional luminaria ceremony to remember and honor cancer survivors

or those fighting cancer.

A survivor’s dinner will be held prior to the relay in the Grove City High School cafeteria at 5:30 p.m.

Those interested in forming a team or donating can contact Cotton at 439-6510 or log onto www.grovecityrelayforlife.com.

For those who cannot attend the event but want to contribute, log onto www.cancer.org.

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