Organizers have set a goal to raise at least $50,000 this year as they prepare for this weekendâ€™s Greater Auglaize County Relay for life.
â€śWe are shooting for at least that much,â€ť Relay for Life Public Relations Chair Kim Klingler said of the biggest fundraiser held annually in the county for the American Cancer Society. â€śThe last two years we have been right at that number.â€ť
It is the 16th year for the event, which is being held at the Auglaize County Fairgrounds. While the number of teams is down, Klingler said, the number of participants on a team is higher as 167 are signed up.
She said they would welcome the signing up of more teams before the weekend.
â€śYou can make a team of whatever number you want,â€ť Klingler said. â€śIt can only be two or three people. We like to get as many people participating as we can.â€ť
Klingler said she feels the event has a great chance to reach its fundraising goal.
To date, $21,431 has been raised, ahead of last year. The funds raised go to the American Cancer Society for funding the many programs it offers and research aimed at finding a cure.
She stressed that 98 percent of the money raised stays in the county to assists patients in the area.
Some of the programs include â€śLook Good Feel Better.â€ť This new program started in June and holds group workshops to teach beauty techniques to cancer patients to hep combat appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment.
â€śPatient Navigatorâ€ť helps patients and family members chart their cancer treatment journey, and â€śReach For Recoveryâ€ť provides support and education to patients in families dealing with the emotional effects of breast cancer.
Another program, â€śHope Lodge,â€ť provides free overnight housing for patients in Cleveland and Cincinnati. are just some of the many programs funded and available in the county.
A 5-K run is to be part of the festivities for the first time and is set to begin at 6 p.m. Friday with registration beginning at 4:30 p.m. The event kicks off with a survivor lap after opening ceremonies and remarks.
There will be a butterfly release and team recognition lap.
The popular Miss Relay contest, where teams get a man to dress up like a woman to raise money, will also take place Friday. The man raising the most money is declared the winner.
At 10 p.m. a luminary service to honor those who have fought the cancer battle will be held. A celebrity look-alike contest will take place at 11 p.m.
Several teams are also hosting their own events, including a cupcake decorating contest from the TSC Purple Stars, a cookie decorating contest by the No Remorse For Cancer team, and fun hairdos by the TA Travel Centers-Haulâ€™n For a Cure team.
Many other events and items for sale are being offered by the event and its participants. There also will be several themed laps on Saturday including â€śRocky,â€ť â€śPearl Harbor,â€ť â€śThe Wizard of Ozâ€ť and western.
Klingler said the event has raised more than $1 million in the greater Auglaize County area since its inception 16 years ago.
American Cancer Society Income Development Representative Sarah Burke said more than 100 Auglaize County residents received help through the many programs available in 2012.
She said she feels they could help many more.
â€śWe can help everyone,â€ť Burke said, â€śbut with HIPPA laws, they have to contact us. Privacy makes it more difficult for us to locate people we may be able to help.â€ť