With nearly 50 percent of the goal already reached, teams are pushing their efforts toward meeting the rest at next week’s event in Forest Park.
The American Cancer Society Relay for Life event will be held August 2-3 in Forest Park with opening ceremonies beginning at 6 p.m. The public is invited to attend and encourage the teams’ efforts throughout the evening.
The Relay for Life raises funds for research and programs for cancer patients and their caregivers. This year’s goal is $55,000.
During the Relay event, teams from throughout the county camp out overnight and take turns walking around a track. They also raise funds at their campsites through food, raffles, and games and activities. The overnight event represents the journey a cancer patient travels from diagnosis through survivorship.
Survivors are honored with a dinner prior to the Opening Ceremony at 5 p.m. in the Senior Center building. Opening Ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. with the Survivor/Caregiver lap, survivor speaker Joleen Parkinson, and the National Anthem sung by 7-year-old cancer survivor Makyla Chasteen.
New this year is a Pony Tail drive for those wishing to donate their hair for wigs which are given free of charge to cancer patients. The ponytails will be cut by cancer survivors and the donors will have their hair styled by Sheri Wallis from Cutting Edge Salon in Shelbyville. Donated hair must be at least 8 inches long, have 5 percent or less gray coloring, and is not bleached. Donors of all ages are welcome. The Pony Tail drive is sponsored by Pantene Beautiful Lengths. The drive will be held as part of the Fight Back program at 6:30 p.m.
During the evening the basket silent auction will be held at team campsites and at the stage. Auction will close at 10 p.m.
Entertainment will be offered by John McMahon, Vincent Beard, and Forest Parker during the evening hours. Inflatables will be available for children with the purchase of a wrist band. A Midnight Swim will be held from 10 p.m. to midnight.
The Luminaria Ceremony which honors cancer patients and victims will begin at 9 p.m. Luminaria may be purchased prior to the ceremony for $10 each.
“On May 22, the American Cancer Society celebrated 100 years of saving lives from cancer and creating a world with more birthdays. It’s the progress we’ve made together - as a community, as volunteers, as survivors and as leaders - that has helped us reach this incredible milestone with tremendous success,” said committee member Kathy Storm. “By lending your support to the Shelby County Relay event this year, you’ll be lending your support to the Society’s efforts to finish the fight and bring an end to cancer as we know it.”