A new month brings a new event being planned by organizers of the Steubenville Area Relay for Life sponsored by the Jefferson County Unit of the American Cancer Society.
It's called "100 Days Kickoff to Relay" and will be held throughout the Fort Steuben Mall on March 13 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
At a cost of $10 each, teams participating in the relay set for June 21-22 at the Robert Kettlewell Memorial Stadium on the campus of Indian Creek High School in Wintersville are encouraged to set up to help spread the word about relay.
"Rock Out Cancer" is the theme of the relay which hopes to raise $133,000 for research, education, advocacy and patient services.
"We want this to be an educational event - not a fundraising event, so we're asking teams to display videos or photos of why they relay, to advertise their fundraisers, to display their personal mission and to bring attention to the community what they want others to know about relay," said Kyle Elder, who is co-chairing this year's Relay for Life along with Jaclyn Walters.
The March 13 event - the beginning of the 100-day countdown to the relay - is free to the public and will feature a special survivors' reception, a cupcake bar, children's activities, a virtual tour of relay and the opportunity to join or register a team.
"We're really excited about this event and hope to have a great turnout," Elder said.
Following the event, teams will be able to pick their campsite at the relay but must be registered online in order to do so.
The 100 Days Kickoff was one item discussed at the February planning meeting of team captains and committee members. Here is some other news related to this year's relay.
ROAD TO RECOVERY LAP
This will be the second year for a Road to Recovery Lap at relay 2013 following the success of the 2012 lap. Teams are encouraged to create a non-motorized car to raise awareness for the American Cancer Society program called Road to Recovery where volunteers give cancer patients a free ride to treatment that might be far from home.
TEEN BOARD ORGANIZED
In early February, Elder, Walters and ACS Staff Partner Bethani Barsch met for the first time with the newly created teen board earlier in February. Ten teens from area high schools will become a team and help with duties throughout the fundraising year, including on the day and night of relay and for the "100 Days Kickoff to Relay."
Teen board members include Ryan Wood, Kevan Zapolnik, Lauren Haines, Sara Alongi, Erin Barnhouse, Katiri Snyder, Nikki Skeens, Morgan Staten, Joey Wood, Casy Gentile, Chris Starliper and Allisa Pasco.
Any teen interested in joining can contact Barsch, Elder or Walters.
ANOTHER NEW ADDITION
Another new addition to Relay 2013 will be the "Mr. Relay Text Alerts."
By texting@relayers to (567) 218-2892 subscribers receive meeting reminders, fundraising tips and special event offers throughout the relay season directly to their phone via text messages.
ACS CAN TEAMS ENCOURAGED
ACS advocate Barb Wilinski is strongly encouraging teams to become ACS CAN teams again in 2013.
ACS CAN, the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network, is the main advocacy program through ACS to make cancer a national priority. By having 10 team members donate a minimum of $10 each, relay teams can become a CAN team.
"In 2011, the Steubenville Area Relay for Life was the only ACS CAN relay in the state of Ohio, and we're on a mission to become another one again in 2013," Elder said, noting Walmart Sparkies is the relay's first official CAN team.
"We're hoping several more teams will jump on board. Barb also is strongly encouraging volunteer CANs to sign up for Lobby Day 2013 in Columbus on April 11 for the chance to talk with legislators about making cancer a national priority and bringing more support to our mission," he said.
UPCOMING RELAY FUNDRAISERS
Several teams have organized fundraisers, some of which are:
MARCH 10: A Swim-A-Thon will be held at the Stratton Indoor Pool from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Area high school swim teams and aquatic teams will be participating in the event that generated more than $2,800 last year.
Independent swimmers are encouraged to participate as well, and a walking track will be set up around the pool.
For every 10 laps that an independent swimmer completes, Karen Lundquist will donate $1 to the goal. Prizes will be awarded to the most laps and the most money raised.
MARCH 16: Steppin' For Sisters will hold a St. Patrick's Day Dance at the Stratton Municipal Building from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Cost is $5 per person. The event will feature a Chinese auction, 50/50, free beer, and meat and cheese trays for sale.
The team also is selling butterflies again for the annual butterfly release to take place the Saturday of relay at 10 a.m. Butterflies are $8 each.
APRIL 6: Steppin' For Sisters will hold a Rock-A-Thon at the Fort Steuben Mall from noon to 4 p.m. with more information to come.
APRIL 12: Team Cooper will hold its annual Longaberger Bingo at the Stratton Municipal Building. Doors open at 5 p.m. with bingo beginning at 6 p.m.
For a donation of $25, a participant can play 20 games of bingo with prizes being Longaberger baskets, pottery and wrought iron.
A Chinese auction also will feature Longaberger products, and a 50/50 drawing will be held.
Elder reported he is collecting photos for the luminary ceremony slideshow. Photos can be used from last year. Photos can be in honor or in memory of a loved one.
Memorial photos should include the person's year of birth and death. The photos can be brought to meetings until June 11 or e-mailed to Elder at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next Relay for Life meeting will be held at 7 p.m. April 16 in lecture hall 2100 at Eastern Gateway Community College.