GALION — The Relay for Life of Crawford County board met Thursday at Galion Community Hospital to finalize plans for this year’s event.
One big change this year for the local Relay for Life event is the fact that it will run from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on June 17 at Wynford High School. In previous years, the event has kicked off on a Friday and was held overnight, with closing ceremonies on Saturday.
“We gave each community the option of keeping it the same with 18 hours, shortening it to 12 hours or six hours after many of our teams were reporting that not very many people were spending the night, so there were on only 20 to 25 people at closing ceremonies the next day,” said Deb Hilborn, Community Manager for Relay For Life’s east central division that serves seven counties in Ohio, including Crawford County. “Crawford County took a vote at their wrap-up meeting and made the decision to change to 12 hours. They will try it for two years to see how things work.”
Relay For Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and is staffed and coordinated by volunteers in more than 5,200 communities and 27 countries across the globe.
“We can always use more volunteers. We need the communities help in fighting cancer,” said Hilborn.
Hilborn said volunteerism is down in today’s busy world.
“Like many organizations that depend on volunteers, our number of people helping has decreased in the past 10 to 12 years. Times have changed and people are busy. We need for people to know that being a volunteer or team member does not have to mean hours and hours of someone’s time. If someone can spare one hour per month to hang some posters or make a few phone calls for us, we would be very appreciative.”
Relay for Life began after Dr. Gordon “Gordy” Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Washington, May of 1985, raising money to help the American Cancer Society with the nation’s biggest health concern: cancer. Friends, family, and patients supported Klatt in his quest to the tune of $27,000 that he raised through their pledges. As he walked and ran more than 83.6 miles, he formed an idea in his mind to gather people from around the country to raise funds in the same way and Relay for Life was born.
Another change for the Crawford County event this year is that there will be no honorary survivors chosen for the June event.
“We have decided to continue to honorary all survivors in the same way instead of signifying certain ones each year,” said Hilborn.
The Crawford County organization is selling luminaria bags and torches for this year’s event.