STEUBENVILLE - The time is nearing to "Relay Like A Champion."
That's the theme around which newcomers and veterans of the Steubenville Area Relay for Life sponsored by the Jefferson County Unit of the American Cancer Society will work to reach a $165,000 goal to benefit cancer research, education, advocacy and patient services.
The 18th-annual event will be held at the Robert Kettlewell Memorial Stadium on the campus of Indian Creek High School in Wintersville, getting under way with opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. June 22 and continuing until an awards ceremony at 11:30 a.m. June 23.
Janice R. Kiaski
RELAY COUNTDOWN — Kyle Elder, left, co-chair of the upcoming Steubenville Area Relay for Life sponsored by the Jefferson County Unit of the American Cancer Society, looks over some information with Michele Purviance of Wintersville United Methodist Church’s team during a recent planning meeting. The 18th-annual relay will be held June 22-23 at the Robert Kettlewell Memorial Stadium at Indian Creek High School in Wintersville.
Relay for Life is an overnight community event to celebrate cancer survivors, to remember those who have lost their battle and to fight back against cancer.
"We hope that everybody - new and old faces alike - come out to 'Relay Like A Champion' and have a good time, eat, hang out, celebrate survivors and fight back," said Bethani Barsch, ACS staff partner for the event being co-chaired by Kyle Elder and Dan Wood.
There are more than 35 teams on board to participate, but there's room for more, according to Barsch. A "team" is made up of about 10 people, who can constitute, for example, neighbors, co-workers, family and friends, churches, businesses or organizations. The relay is not an athletic event per se, but a member of each team is encouraged to be on the track walking throughout the relay's duration in a symbolic gesture of a cancer victim's journey.
n For information on participating, volunteering or donating to the Steubenville Area Relay for Life sponsored by the Jefferson County Unit of the American Cancer Society, call Bethani Barsch, ACS staff partner, at (888) 227-6446, extension 2212; co-chair Kyle Elder at (740) 219-0147 or email@example.com; co-chair Dan Wood at (740) 317-6101 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or the website at www.relayforlife.org/Steubenville.
n The relay will be held June 22-23 at the Robert Kettlewell Memorial Stadium, Indian Creek High School, Wintersville.
"We're always looking for more, and it's never too late (to sign up)," said Barsch, who can be contacted at (888) 227-6446, extension 2212. Information also is available through Elder at (740) 219-0147 or email@example.com or Wood at (740) 317-6101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Barsch said the website at www.relayforlife.org/Steubenville also affords access to registration, donating and information.
The relay will feature events and activities; disc jockey Anthony Bailey of Toronto providing music throughout; on-site fundraisers; and information.
After opening ceremonies, cancer survivors walk the opening lap, Barsch said, noting about 70 are registered so far but more are welcome to participate.
"We invite everybody to come down. Even if you haven't registered, you can register that day," Barsch said. "There is a reception underneath the stadium bleachers and a survivors' lap in their honor, and they can feel free to bring a couple of their caregivers, too." Cancer survivors should report to the stadium by 5:30 p.m. on June 22.
The relay also will include the luminaria ceremony June 22, with luminaries available for purchase for a $10 donation in honor of or in memory of a loved one's battle with cancer.
Barsch said a new event June 22 is a wish-lighted balloon release, which is a relay fundraiser organized by Team Family Jewels.
"Be a part of this wonderful event as you send your balloon and wishes into the sky as we all celebrate, remember and fight back" reads the promotional literature on the ceremony.. The balloons are available for $3 each and are to be picked up at the team's tent that night.
To place an order, make checks payable to the American Cancer Society and mail to Team Family Jewels, 222 Pross St., Weirton, WV 26062. For information, call (304) 479-9378 or e-mail email@example.com.
The butterfly release, a fundraiser by the team Steppin' For Sisters, returns to the relay for a second year, set to happen at 10 a.m. June 23. The butterflies are available for $8 each with all proceeds to benefit the ACS. The deadline to purchase them is June 8. For information, contact Judy Fellows at (740) 284-5547 or Nate Fellows at (740) 424-8317.
The relay features many teams organizing various fundraisers, including Team Shear Cancer, which is sponsoring a drawing for two tickets to the Pirates-Giants game on July 7. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5 for two front-row seats at the third baseline. Tickets are available at Shear Designs, 1314 Franklin Ave., Toronto, Wednesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; by calling (740) 537-4447; or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We are getting ready to head into the final few weeks before the relay, and we're really getting down to business," said Elder.
"The mini relays have been very successful again this year thanks to Karen Lundquist and Connie Crawford. Edison High School had the largest amount collected with over $7,000 raised, the highest total ever for a mini-relay in Jefferson County," Elder said.
There were 17 schools participating this year in what Lundquist described as a banner year.
"All in all they outdid everything that I imagined," Lundquist said, with the total anticipated to be $35,000, up from $32,000 last year.
Elder said the relay continues to welcome new teams and noted a special memorial will be conducted for the late Stacy Davis, who died recently. "We will definitely feel a loss at relay this year after her passing, but we will continue to carry on her legacy," Elder said.
"We're looking forward to June 22 and can't wait to 'Relay Like A Champion' with everyone," he added.
The final meeting before the relay is scheduled for 7 p.m. June 12 in the Trinity Medical Center East board room.