(Posted June 10, 2017)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
For 12 years running, Amie Morgan’s family has poured their hearts into raising money and awareness for the American Cancer Society.
Their efforts started in 2006, shortly after Amie was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. With Amie as captain, they formed a Relay For Life team and have since topped the fundraising charts in Madison County year after year.
“This year, we’ll go over $200,000 in total fundraising as a team,” said Cory Sickles, Amie’s brother and this year’s Madison County Relay For Life chairman.
After Amie passed away as a result of the cancer, her family, whose roots are in West Jefferson, remained committed to Relay in her memory.
“She is really why we’re still involved,” Sickles said.
Amie’s Angels and dozens of other teams will take to the track at London High School June 16 for this year’s Madison County Relay For Life.
For the past several months, these teams formed by families, friends, business, churches and civic organizations have raised money for the American Cancer Society through bake sales, quarter auctions, scrapbook outings, and a whole host of creative events.
“A lot of times, they’re not only raising money, but also educating and getting the community involved,” Sickles said.
Teams will celebrate their hard work, as well as pay tribute to those who have or are fighting cancer, during festivities that start at 5 p.m. June 16 and run until 1 a.m. June 17. The public is invited to attend. Anyone is welcome to walk laps with team members, buy raffle tickets, bid on auction items, and patronize other on-site fundraisers. A food court, D.J. music, and children’s play area are all part of the fun.
This year’s Relay theme is television shows. Teams will decorate sections of the fence around the track according to the theme.
Stinger, the mascot for the Columbus Blue Jackets’ professional hockey team will be on hand for the opening ceremony. The London Fire Department plans to park its pink fire truck, promoting breast cancer awareness, on the grounds. Madison Health will offer free health screenings. Cancer survivors and their caregivers will be treated to dinner.
Always popular are the “Hopeful Bra” and Ms. Relay contests. For Hopeful Bra, participants enter a bra decorated and named to show support for the fight against cancer. The bras are judged and a winner is chosen. For Ms. Relay, teams choose a male participant and doll him up in a dress to compete for the title of “Ms. Relay for Life.” Relay attendees vote for their favorites; each vote is 25 cents. The entrant with the most quarters in his bucket wins.
One of the many other interactive features of Relay is the Locks of Love station. Beauticians will be available to cut hair to donate to make wigs for cancer patients. At least 10 inches of hair is needed for a donation.
At 10 p.m., the laps, music, and party atmosphere pause for the luminaria ceremony. Candles are lit around the track and in the stands, and names are read of cancer survivors, those fighting cancer, and those who have passed on.
Madison County’s fundraising goal for 2017 is $99,000. Donations can be made at Relay For Life on June 16 or by visiting www.relayforlife.org/madisoncounty.
For more information about any facet of Madison County Relay for Life, contact Kelsey Jones, American Cancer Society event coordinator, at (888) 227-6446, ext. 3011, or email@example.com.
This year’s sponsors are Safe Harbor Retirement Group, Jefferson Industries Corp., International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, OhioHealth, The James, London Eagles 950, Veterans of Foreign Wars West Jefferson Post 7005, Stanley Electric, Honda, Madison Health, Phi Beta Psi Sorority, Merchants National Bank, Amtekco Wasserstrom, Subway, Happy Druggist Pharmacy, West Jefferson Animal Hospital, Krazy Glue, Marathon and area media outlets.
Schedule of Events
The public is invited to attend the 2017 Madison County Relay For Life on June 16-17 at London High School. The schedule of events is as follows.
3 p.m.—Grounds open for team set-up
4 p.m.—Registration forms due for Hopeful Bra and Ms. Relay contests
5 p.m.—Food court opens
5:30 p.m.—Silent auction begins
6 p.m.—Opening ceremony, ribbon cutting, flag ceremony, luminaria sales begin, survivor dinner
7-9 p.m.—CPR demonstrations and scans by Madison Health
7:15 p.m.—Survivor/caregiver celebration lap, ribbon cutting by Caregiver Award winner
8 p.m.—Locks of Love haircuts
8:30 p.m.—Zumba led by Mariah Goff
9 p.m.—Luminaria sales end, Hopeful Bra, Ms. Relay, Name That Tune
9:30 p.m.—Raffle drawings
9:45 p.m.—Winners announced for Ms. Relay, Hopeful Bra, Team Spirit, Inspiration Award (sponsored by the Farmer family)
10 p.m.—Luminaria ceremony
11 p.m.—Frozen t-shirt contest
11:15 p.m.—Silent auction ends
11:30 p.m.-midnight—Pick up auction items
Midnight—Victory lap led by survivors; closing ceremony and team level awards
12:30 a.m.—Relay ends.