Relay for Life kickoff event draws crowd, announces 2014 theme

Published 11:01 pm Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The 2014 Relay for Life fundraising season kicked off this Tuesday night on the Square in downtown Troy.

It was announced that the theme for the 2014 Relay for Life will be Luau for Life, and Pike County will be celebrating 20 years of miracles and memories through the Relay for Life program. As of right now, no fundraising goal has been set for 2014.

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In speaking to the assembled crowd, Relay for Life chairman Tammy Calhoun reminded everyone that raising money for cancer research is not a one-man job. “This cannot be done by one person, or ten people.” Calhoun said. “It has to be a group of people.”

Calhoun described Tuesday night’s event as a mix between a celebration and remembrance. “We wanted to have this event as a kickoff and get people excited to raise money this year,’ Calhoun said. “At the same time, we wanted to honor the luminaries from last year because we felt they didn’t get the recognition they deserved because of the rain last year.”

To make up for last year, the Relay for Life team lined the square with luminaries, paper bags with a candle inside that are dedicated to cancer survivors and victims. The candles inside were lit, and Pike County cancer survivors and their families took a ceremonial lap around the square.

Calhoun explained how the luminaries can be bought this year. “Luminaries can be bought for five dollars from teams that are selling them,” Calhoun said. “The can be bought in honor of someone or in memory of someone.”

A lot has changed since the first Pike County Relay for Life event 20 years ago. Mary Ida, who was instrumental in bringing Relay for Life to Pike County, shared some of her memories of that first event. “That first night, our goal was $28,000,” Ida said. “When the sun came up that Saturday after the event, we had raised $48,000. A lot has changed, but or goal is still the same—to raise money for the American Cancer Society.”

Anyone who wants to get involved in this year’s Relay for Life or who wants to start a team to raise money can contact Tammy Calhoun at 670-1208. “We’re going out to businesses and trying to get new teams to compete,” Calhoun said. “We are working hard to find a cure. We hope everyone will join and make it a whole family affair.”

Relay for Life will be held on May 2 this year at the Troy Sportsplex.