After raising more than half a million dollars the last six years alone, Highland County Relay for Life is making some big changes for its 23rd annual event that will be held Saturday, June 23 at the Highland County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro.
Rather than starting on Friday evening and continuing until Saturday afternoon as it has in the past, this year the Relay will run from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday only.
“We’re trying to make sure we reach the whole community for a longer period of time,” said Melinda Daniel, a community development manager for the American Cancer Society, which Relay for Life benefits.
Daniel said that after each year’s event, a “wrap up” meeting is held where local Relay participants talk about what went good and what things need to change. She said the group voted to move event to Saturday, partly because in past years several of the participants have left around 11 p.m. on Friday, and partly because the middle of the night is not a good time for community involvement.
Still, the event has been a big success. From 2011 to 2017, Highland County Relay for Life raised $583,083, according to Daniel.
This year’s theme is “Relay Goes to Hollywood: Lights, Action, Cure.”
One of the new events is a Little Mr. & Miss Glamour Parade.
“We are asking you to dress up your little one like a Hollywood star and let them strut the red carpet at our event to help raise money to find a cure to end cancer,” a news release said. “Trophies will be awarded to the winners (age groups 1 month to 3 years and 4-6 years, for boys and girls). The winners will be determined by how much money you collect to be donated to the Relay for Life of Highland County.”
Prior to the Relay events, there will be a 5K run/walk at the fairgrounds starting at 8 a.m. that will benefit the American Cancer Society. Registration starts at 7 a.m. The cost is $25 and preregistered participants receive a T-shirt. For more information contact Janie Angles at 937-393-2357 or email [email protected]
The Relay’s opening ceremony, honoring those that have been affected by cancer and those who have helped with the success of this year’s event, starts at 11 a.m. There will be a survivor/caregiver walk at 11:30 a.m., the survivor luncheon, open to all cancer survivors and a caregiver, at 12:15 p.m., a luminaria ceremony around 9 p.m. and closing ceremonies at 10:30 p.m.
“The committee has been working hard all year to plan the event and raise funds to find a cure for cancer for the American Cancer Society,” the news release said. “A full schedule of events can be found on the website at www.relayforlife.org/highlandcounty, which is where luminaria can be purchased, donations made, and participants can register. Survivors can register on the website or at the event. Plenty of entertainment can be found at the event this year including a quarter auction, various games and activities, and a variety of food options will be available for a donation from our amazing volunteers and teams.
“We want the community to come out to support the event and the volunteers that work hard all year long to fundraise for the American Cancer Society. Feel free to join our teams and participants as they walk, or sit back, relax and enjoy the entertainment.”
This year’s fundraising goal for Highland County is $75,000.
If you have questions or would like more information, contact Daniel at [email protected] or 1-800-227-2345, or Cindy Wilson at 937-763-0637.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or [email protected]