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Relay for Life is Saturday

June 16, 2011

Survivors begin their lap at last year’s Relay for Life Marshall County.

PLYMOUTH — Plans, dollars, donations... they’re all falling into place for the all-night Marshall County Relay for Life event Saturday, June 18 in Centennial Park.
The first official lap — and one of the most moving — is the ‘Survivor Lap’ at 4 p.m., an earlier start this year following opening ceremonies. The “Parade of Teams” recognizing all of their efforts will follow.
The event concludes with closing ceremonies at 6 a.m. Sunday morning.
But you don’t have to put on any miles to help out.
The committee is encouraging the community to come out for an evening of fun — take an hour — several — or, if you’re up to it, all night. Music, activities for adults and kids, lots of food, silent auction and lots of surprises are in store.
The event is the culmination of months of work and dedication of volunteers to raise dollars for cancer research. The goal this year is a challenging $63,000. Fundraising has become a year-round effort with the first Bark for Life last October, port-a-pit chicken sales, a myriad of bake sales and garage sales and eating pizza and dining out at Bob Evans. Money raised stays in this area to help with all kinds of support and to fund cancer researchers as close as Notre Dame.
Luminaries are not only a fundraiser, but a way of memorializing someone lost or honoring a brave survivor. They will circle the field culminating in the word ‘HOPE’ at the top of the hill. At 10 p.m., after the luminaria ceremony, with survivors wearing purple, they’ll be changed to ‘CURE.’
It’s not too late to remember a friend or loved one. Bags will be decorated throughout the evening until the lighting. It’s one of the most moving events of the evening. The Boy Scouts will be on hand to fill the luminaria bags with sand and place them around the track.
The silent auction has been getting a lot of attention with donations from teams and community businesses. Many of the items are in the Pilot News window and calls are received on a daily basis wanting to bid. Bidding starts at 5 p.m. and continues to 11:30 p.m. with successful bidders announced at 12:30 a.m. If you can’t stay, you’ll get a call.
Many members of the teams this year will walk and walk and walk. No matter the hour, someone will be circling the track. Cancer doesn’t sleep nor will they. If you want to walk, fun laps are planned throughout —pinwheel, bubble, funny hat, flash light and hippie/retro, reflecting this year’s theme “Flower Power.”
Kids’ activities will be ongoing throughout the event starting with a Tae Kwan Do demonstration at 6 p.m. New this year is a Survivor Scavenger Hunt also starting at 6 p.m.. Returning this year is the Bremen Swing Choir with performances at 6:30, 7:30, 8:30 and 11 p.m.
“Do we have to stay? Walk?” folks ask. No, just come for an hour of fun, food and camaraderie.
For a complete schedule of all the happenings, log on to the American Cancer Society website at www.relayforlife.org/marshallcountyin. It’s not too late to join a team, check out fundraisers or make a donation.
Call Terri Biddle (574-209-4757), Marika Kunder (574-546-5709) or Trisha Metz, ACS Representative (800-227-2345) for more information.

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