GALLIPOLIS — On Friday evening local communities gathered together to support Relay for Life, a team sponsored fundraising event determined to end cancer through research and awareness. This event has been happening for 22 years in Gallia County and was held in City Park.
Local American Cancer Society Representative Hilary Nicholes said: “Relay for Life has been in this community for 22 years. It’s built around communities, and geared towards community needs. This community always put its heart and soul into caring for survivors.”
As of Friday at 5 p.m. before the event started, over $17,000 had already been raised.
Nicholes and Karrie Davison, Holzer Health System public relations coordinator, both expected over $25,000 to be raised by the end of the event. Over $30,000 was raised last year through Relay for Life.
Five teams were present for the night of the event, raising funds through concessions, raffles, and donations. Six other teams have participated in raising funds leading up to the event.
The morning after the Relay, a bike ride was held to raise funds as was a fishing tournament, adding to the total funds raised for cancer research.
One of the volunteers, Felicity Matthew, is going to be a freshman at Gallia Academy in the fall, and helps out for a special reason. She is a part of the “Cancer Crushers” team.
“I’m here because I care. My Aunt Carrol is a survivor,” she said.
Many other volunteers are helping out for similar reasons, giving back to the community, honoring a loved one, or celebrating survivors. Team Captain for the Crushers was Joanna Adkins and her husband James.
“We feel honored to represent those we know who have fought cancer,” said James.
Tuppers Plains Farmers Bank also had a team present, the “Tuppers Plains Loan Crusaders” from Meigs County. They spend all year long fundraising through selling candy bars and candles for this event. Why?
“There’s a lot of people I know that have cancer, I’m here for them,” explained Becky Grate, team captain.
Other teams that set up booths to help raise funds include GKN/UAW’s “Tacklin’ for a Cure”and “Family Ties” started as a relay team in 2012 in honor of a team captain’s mother and mother in-law who fought cancer.
Also included was the Electrocraft “Electro-fied” team, which is captained by Terry McKinniss, a cancer survivor.
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108.