MIAMI COUNTY — Beginning Friday, the Miami County community will walk to raise money and awareness for cancer research at a Relay for Life event over the weekend.
For Team Honda member Kelly Hinderman, Relay for Life is a very personal experience.
“This event is very special to me on a personal level in that I lost my sister when she was 41, my dad in 2013 and my older brother died a year ago June 20. All of cancer,” Hinderman said, who is also a survivor and caregiver. “I know everyone has someone in their life who was snatched away by this disease way before their time and robbed of their precious gifts.”
Relay for Life celebrates survivors’ victory over cancer and remembers those who lost their battles against the disease, while raising money for the American Cancer Society. The overnight event also celebrates caregivers, who support their friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers facing cancer.
This year’s Relay will feature the usual fun and games and traditional activities like the survivors’ dinner, survivors’ lap, and luminaria ceremony, plus a number of other activities, including music and a quarter auction.
The theme this year is “Tune Out Cancer,” Hinderman said.
The event will open with a welcoming ceremony and survivors’ lap at 5:45 p.m. on Friday, followed by a survivors’ dinner. Luminaria will be lit Friday night at 9 p.m., with a reading of names afterward.
New this year are the Kids’ Zone, which will include carnival games and prizes, and the Cardboard Car Show, Hinderman said.
The Cardboard Car Show, which encourages participants to flex their creative muscles by designing and making cars from cardboard, raises awareness for the Road to Recovery program, a volunteer-based organization that offers support to cancer patients, including taking them to appointments. A program is in the works for Miami County.
Participants of all ages are invited to design a car that they can walk around the track in — wearing it, holding it up, or for younger participants, attaching it to a stroller or wagon. The cars will be on display at 10 a.m. on Saturday, and an award will be given to the best car on the track.
Other opportunities to tune out cancer and tune into fun include a lip sync battle Friday night at 10:30 p.m., games and themed laps. There will also be a DJ (Cup of Joe will be live from WPTW) and various food trucks onsite, Hinderman said.
Younger participants may enter the Little Miss and Mister Hope contest, and gentlemen attending the event have the opportunity to get in touch with their feminine side for the Miss Relay contest, a beauty pageant for men of all ages.
“We are all in this fight together and all monies raised will go to ACS research in order to rid us of cancers, one at a time,” Hinderman said.
Relay for Life began after Dr. Gordy Klatt walked and ran around a track in Tacoma, Wash., for 24 hours in May 1985, raising $27,000 for the American Cancer Society. The following year, more than 300 supporters joined the overnight event and since then, Relay for Life has grown into a worldwide movement that has raised nearly $5 billion to fight cancer.
To participate in Relay for Life, donate money or to find more information, visit the website at www.Relayforlife.org/MiamiCounty. “Like” the event’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/relayforlifeofmiamicounty for other updates.
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.