(Posted May 30, 2019)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Though it’s technically the second year Madison and Union counties have joined forces for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, Cory Sickles said it feels like the first year.
Severe thunderstorms cut short last year’s event. Sickles and his fellow chairperson, Anne Crabtree, are crossing their fingers for clear skies this time around as they welcome fundraising teams and the general public to the Jonathan Alder High School track on June 8.
What is guaranteed to be clear is the Relay’s purpose and message. The annual event brings together people who have spent the last several months raising money and awareness in the fight against cancer. They celebrate those efforts and honor and remember loved ones by spending the evening walking laps around the track and enjoying a wide variety of entertainment.
“The idea is to have someone from your team walking on the track throughout the event. The reason we walk and keep walking is because cancer never stops. When you do the laps, it’s fighting for the cause. That’s why it’s called Relay for Life,” said Sickles, whose family walks in memory of his sister, Amie Morgan, who passed away 10 years ago as the result of cancer.
The 2019 Relay kicks off at 6 p.m. and wraps up around 11 p.m. Anyone, whether on a team or not, is welcome to attend. Admission is free. Attractions include bounce houses, food trucks, family-friendly games and activities, and a silent auction.
Two special components of the event are the survivor and caregiver reception and the luminaria ceremony. The reception takes place at 6:20 p.m. following opening ceremonies. Survivors and their caregivers who wish to attend the reception, which includes dinner, are asked to RSVP by June 3 to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (888) 227-6446, ext. 8602. There is no charge to attend.
The luminaria ceremony takes place at dark, between 9:30 and 10 p.m. Candles are lit around the track, and the names of cancer survivors, those fighting cancer, and those who have passed on are read over the public announcement system. Luminaria can be purchased prior to the Relay or on the night of the Relay in someone’s honor or memory.
Whether participating as a survivor or a supporter, staying for the duration of the event or for just a little while, everyone is invited to be part of Relay night, Sickles said.
“Everyone has been effected by cancer in one way or another. This is a way to give back to a great cause,” he said.
This year’s Relay for Life sponsors are:
- Presenting–Safe Harbor Retirement Group, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Jonathan Alder High School;
- Gold–The James (Ohio State University), Jefferson Industries Corp., Stanley Electric;
- Silver–Madison Health, Flyers Pizza & Subs;
- Bronze—UFCW Local 1059, Memorial Health, Eagle Electric;
- Signature–Plain City Druggist/Happy Druggist, Strike King Storage Inns;
- Track Sign–Chaney and Thomas Insurance and Mid-Ohio Radiology.
This year’s theme is “Dancing for the Cure.” The goal is to raise $60,000.
Jonathan Alder High School is located at 9200 U.S. Hwy. 42 S., Plain City. Go to www.relayforlife.org/madisoncounty for additional information.