On May 16 to May 17 people of all ages will visit the Kosciusko County Fairgrounds to celebrate and honor those who have suffered from cancer. The annual Relay for Life will begin at 3 p.m. May 16, and will continue on for a total of 18 hours, concluding at 9 a.m. the following day.
The event, which has been hosted in the county for several years, offers community members an opportunity to support loved ones, raise funds and become better educated on all forms of cancer. Spanning nearly an entire day, the event will feature a welcome ceremony at 3 p.m. with a survivor walk, a special dinner for survivors and caregivers at 4:30 p.m. as a well as a fight back ceremony at 8 p.m. Guests will walk laps around a track throughout the event to show support for those who have suffered from cancer.
According to event organizer Deb Fitzsimmons, a luminaria will be held in the evening. The event will feature paper bags alight with a glow stick that will shine throughout the evening. These bags offer loved ones an opportunity to remember those who have lost their battle, honor those still fighting and celebrate those who have won their fight. The cost of a luminaria is $10 per bag.
Numerous fun events are planned throughout the event. Fitzsimmons stated a silent auction, obstacle course, magician, music, band performances, twister, pet rock creation and more will all be available for guests. Participants are encouraged to celebrate this year’s theme, “Relay’s Got Disco Fever,” by dressing up in costumes and decorating their campsites. According to Fitzsimmons, the theme was chosen in celebration of the 35th anniversary of the event. Food will be available for purchase during the relay for participants.
Among the noteworthy events, Fitzsimmons noted a silent auction will be held from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. The auction will feature a variety of items donated by those participating. Bids can be made during the event with winners notified shortly after 8 p.m.
Fitzsimmons noted the relay raises funds for the American Cancer Society. These funds are used locally to support patients and their family members in a variety of ways. Though the event is free to attend and participate in, Fitzsimmons noted many guests and their respective teams will fundraise and donate to the cause. According to Fitzsimmons, over $55,000 was raised last year through donations and sponsorships. This year, organizers are looking to beat their prior record by raising $65,000 for the cause.
Though no registration is required prior to the event, Fitzsimmons noted over 137 individuals have registered for the relay already. Though registration is free, a $10 donation is appreciated by event organizers.
For further information on Relay For Life Kosciusko County, visit the website here.