Relay for Life to host kick-off, team sign-up event

MILFORD — Hoping to jumpstart 2017 with a bang, Milford’s Relay for Life committee is planning a kick- off and team sign-up event in anticipation of the relay’s 20th year.

The organizing committee, co-lead by Ellen Hall and Connie Pusey, joined by other committee chairs and teams, will host the event Tuesday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Rookery North.

During the party, light fare and information will also be shared by attendees along with stories such as that of Gary Scofield who will speak of his experiences in dealing with cancer in his family.

Those interested in signing up a team or wanting more information to sign up a team are encouraged to attend as well as current and potential team members.

According to committee member Charles Gray, many teams have walked to help with funds to fight cancer over the past 20 years. This year is no different, he added, but said it has an even more special meaning in that the movement is celebrating 20 years in Milford and surrounding communities.

The Committee encourages all past teams to sign up and walk in memory of loved ones and survivors, and encourage new teams to sign up, as well.

Family members, friends and company sponsored teams can help by requesting donations for the cause. As an added bonus, a convenient app provided by Relay for Life assists team members on the go and to request contributions from relatives and friends that might not live close by.

This year’s Relay for Life will take place on the track at the old Milford Middle School. Team members take turns walking the track in support of the fundraiser and share their accomplishments with other teams.

It is also a time to remember those that have lost the battle and rejoice with survivors.

The evening will be full of activities until the next morning at 6 a.m., according to Mr. Gray. Food, disc jockeys and special programming will round out the evening. The community is also invited to attend the Relay night where teams also have food and items for sale, survivors are recognized and a memorial walk will be held. Special programming activities will take place for the community to enjoy as well.

“Since it is the 20th Anniversary, we are adding some special activities and entertainment to the programming,” Committee Co- Chair Ms. Hall said. “We have also asked returning teams to select a theme from previous years as their team’s theme.”

In previous years, a theme is decided upon for the year and each team would “dress” themselves and their booth space for the night based upon the theme. Since this is a special year, Mr. Gray added, the organizing committee decided to open the theme choices for each individual team.

Some teams also hold individual events to help reach their goals prior to the event, such as pancake breakfasts, yard sales and dance parties.

Mr. Gray said a true community spirit can be witnessed leading up to the event through the help of social media, seeing Relay for Life signs in business windows, yard signs in corporate entrances and hearing about the teams’ fundraising efforts.

Contributions are tax deductible under the federal guidelines for 501(c)3 organizations. The goal for the event this year is to raise more than $40,000 for the American Cancer Society.

The Milford community and surrounding areas has raised more than $600,000 over the past 20 years for the Relay for Life to go towards Cancer initiatives such as finding new medicines and researching new therapies and efforts for a cure.

Relay for Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Relays worldwide are staffed and coordinated by volunteers in more than 5,200 communities and 20 countries.

For more information, contact a member of the organizing committee or visit the Relay for Life, Milford, Delaware Facebook page.

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