by Cathy Walton
(Potters Mills, PA)
This year's fundraising goal is $210,000 ...
All Are Invited To Attend The 7th Annual Relay For Life of Centre Hall on June 25-26, 2011 in Centre Hall, PA ...
By Cathy Walton, Volunteer PR Communications & Online Fundraising Chair, 2011 Centre Hall Relay For Life
For the seventh year in a row, up to 600 walkers are expected to once again take to the track of the Centre County Grange Fairgrounds in Centre Hall, PA on June 25 and June 26 for the 2011 Centre Hall Relay For Life. This Centre County non-profit event is 24 hours long and is held annually to raise money for cancer research by the American Cancer Society.
The 7th Annual Centre Hall Relay For Life is a community embraced fundraising and awareness event that is set to begin at 10 am on Saturday, June 25, with opening ceremonies and a "Survivors Lap" and it will continue throughout the night, before ending at 10 am on Sunday, June 26, with one final "Victory Lap" and closing ceremonies.
The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is a non-profit life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease.
Relay For Life is an American Cancer Society signature event, held annually in communities nationwide. It is a non-competitive community event where teams take turns walking around a track for 24 hours. But, that's not all that happens.
The American Cancer Society's Relay For Life event is often defined as a celebration of life, symbolizing the courage and spirit of the more than 500,000 cancer survivors who, each year, proudly walk the event's survivor lap at more than 5,000 Relay For Life events nationwide.
It is a fun filled overnight event that mobilizes communities across the country to celebrate survivorship, remember those who lost their lives to cancer, and raise money for the fight against cancer.
Relay for Life events traditionally have a theme each year and a festival-like atmosphere.
Centre Hall's 2011 Relay For Life event theme is "Touchdown For A Cure!"
Centre Hall Relay's 24 hour, weekend long event features a Saturday morning Opening Ceremony, a Survivors and Caregivers Lap, a touching Luminaria Ceremony at dusk, and a Closing Ceremony on Sunday morning.
Frannie Mason, a local breast cancer survivor, will be this year's guest speaker.
There will also be live music, entertainment, food, on-site fundraising events and games, as well as hours of non-stop activities for the entire family throughout the weekend.
Centre Hall Relay's Volunteer Entertainment and Activities Chairperson for many years, Kathy Rockey, has a full schedule of entertainment and activities planned. "Our Centre Hall Relay will open with recognition of the teams, a prayer and the national anthem," according to Rockey.
"After that, representatives of the all the teams registered so far will begin walking the track while entertainment, including music and a "womanless" Miss Relay pageant will be held. The "Miss Relay" pageant participants will consist of men only," Rockey continues.
Throughout the 24 hour event, there will be various food and beverages for sale and all kinds of activities for the whole family. There will also be hourly lap prizes and door prizes for the walkers. "Our Relay Team from Curves Fitness is sponsoring a Bingo and a midnight Zumba," Rockey says. "It's a celebration."
Other events, entertainment (including a band and live music) and walking will take place through the night before the closing ceremony begins at 9:45 am on Sunday, June 26. A final lap around the track is scheduled for 9:55 am.
There are 54 teams currently registered for the 2011 Centre Hall Relay For Life event, with 551 registered participants.
The Registration and Accounting Volunteer Chairperson, Susan Holden, reports that this year's Relay event is making progress toward reaching its 2011 fundraising goal.
"This year's goal is $210,000 " Volunteer Event Coordinator and Committee Chairperson, Kathy Barnhart, said, "up just a little from the $203,655 we raised last year."
Most of the Centre Hall Really teams will have tents and camps set up, and some will be selling food and other items to raise last-minute money for The American Cancer Society, on behalf of their teams.
Centre Hall's 2011 "Touchdown For A Cure" Relay For Life event is open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend or to participate, including men, women and children of all ages.
"We want people to come out and have a good time and support our cause," Barnhart said. "We want them to walk laps, enjoy themselves, honor our survivors and remember those we've lost. And maybe spend some money for a great community cause."
At dusk on Saturday, the moving Luminaria Ceremony will be held, lighting the field with tributes honoring those who have both survived and succumbed to cancer. "It's traditional that during the evening part of the Relay on Saturday, we hold the luminary service at 8:30 p.m.," said Crystal Wenrick, this year's Volunteer Luminaria Chair.
Wenrick explains, "Luminaries are lit to honor survivors and those who have lost the fight in their battle with cancer."
Cancer survivors and their caregivers are encouraged to join the Centre Hall Relay For Life on June 25 and 26, 2011 for the weekend long survivor and caregiver recognition and celebration activities planned and to participate in the victory lap.
Deb Sinkus, who has served as a volunteer American Cancer Society committee member for Centre Hall's Relay For Life for the past 2 years, said to kick off the event, all cancer survivors will be invited to take the field, creating an all-star line up. "This victory lap is an inspiring celebration with some moving moments."
Sinkus, serving as Centre Hall Relay's Volunteer Survivors and Caregiver Chair this year, said she expects approximately 150 survivors to walk the track the first lap.
The ACS Relay for Life website states that a survivor is anyone who has ever heard the words, 'you have cancer.'
"We invite and encourage each and every cancer survivor in the community to attend our annual Relay For Life event here in Centre Hall," Sinkus says.
Sinkus also ads, "The walking will begin with the Survivors Lap, followed by the Caregivers Lap - for anybody who is currently or who has ever given care to a cancer patient. No one need remain on the sidelines. For those who prefer, they may "Rock" their laps in the Survivor's tent. We will have rocking chairs available as an alternative to walking laps."
Centre Hall Relay For Life Volunteer Logistics Chairs, Zach Robinson and Vickie Leiter, said survivors and anyone handicapped will be able to park in a special parking spot. "Cancer survivors are encouraged to join us at Relay for the Survivor Celebration, Victory Lap and Luminaria Service."
Interested residents can contact Sinkus, at 814-359-3327 or email her at: sinkusRFL@comcast.net to learn about the registration process for the survivor and caregiver activities, to learn how to receive a Survivors Relay For Life T-Shirt, and to obtain more information.
For more information about the 2011 Centre Hall Relay For Life event itself and all this year's planned activities, please contact the Volunteer Event Coordinator and Committee Chairperson, Kathy Barnhart at: email@example.com
Or you may contact the Volunteer Entertainment and Activities Chairperson, Kathy Rockey at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also contact staff member, Samantha Benz, from The American Cancer Society office in State College, at 814-234-1023 or email her at: Sam.Benz@cancer.org.
Sam works closely with the Centre Hall Relay For Life Committee and Team Captains throughout the year.
Find us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/CentreHallRelayForLife
2011 Relay for Life of Centre Hall on June 25 and 26 at Grange Fairgrounds
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