Relay for Life participants represent the American Cancer Society’s Road To Recovery program at last year’s Relay For Life at Fennville High School.

County lakeshore gets ready to relay

Virginia Ransbottom, Staff Writer

“Once Upon A Cure” will be the theme of this year’s Relay for Life of Allegan County Lakeshore at Fennville High School’s football field starting Saturday, June 28, at 10 a.m. and finishing Sunday, June 29, at 10 a.m.

Keeping with the theme, the “Seeds of Hope” relay team campsite will be decorated to represent, “Jack and the Bean Stalk.”

“That fairytale fit Seeds of Hope because the bean stalk grew from a seed and the stalk represents hope by reaching for a cure,” said team captain Robin Phelps.

Seeds of Hope is one of 14 teams camping overnight and taking turns walking or running around the track to raise funds for the American Cancer So­ciety to find a cure for cancer.

The event also brings the community together to honor and celebrate cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost and fight back against the disease with fun events and information on how to prevent cancer.

Phelps said she joined in 2011 after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Donna Earl is now a survivor,” Phelps said. “My  two daughters, husband, parents and cousins will all be at the relay.”

It’s cousin Jan Woods who is now neck and neck with Phelps for taking the top participant spot donation-wise. Both have raised more than $2,000. However Linda Roerig, a breast cancer survivor and chairman of “The Titty Com­mittee” relay team swooped in and took the title so far by raising more than $3,000.

Seeds of Hope is the top fundraising team with more than $16,000 so far. “The Titty Committee” has raised nearly $6,000 and “Team Long Life” has raised more than $4,500, to help towards the goal of $38,000.

Fundraisers and an auction during the event will help teams reach that goal.

Raffle tickets will be sold with $500, $250 and $100 in cash going to three winners.

But the luminaria lap is the most touching fundraiser. For $10, a candle inside a white paper bag is placed on the track with the name of someone lost fighting cancer or who beat it. The stadium lights are turned off and a screen scrolls the names and pictures of those honored with a light in the dark.

“The bags wrap around the whole track,” Phelps said. “The sight and silence is very moving.”

Keeping the 12-hour event moving along with a fairytale theme means there will be a purple fairy dress-up contest and lap around the track for people of all ages.

“When the guys dress up, it makes it funnier,” said Phelps. “And when the tiny ones do it, it’s really cute.”

Purple is the cancer survivor ribbon color.

Here’s the schedule of events:

Saturday, June 28
10 a.m. Opening ceremonies
10:30 a.m. Survivor lap
11 a.m. Survivor brunch
11:30 a.m. Kids walk with local heroes
12 p.m. Fairytale theme lap with prizes
1 p.m. Scavenger hunt
2 p.m. Fight back lap
2:30 Road to Recovery cardboard box race
3 p.m. Buckets of Hope contest
3:30 p.m. Survivors ice cream social
4 p.m. Purple fairy registration
4:30 p.m. Purple fairy lap
5 p.m. Live auction
6 p.m. Scrabble lap
7 p.m. Flip, slop and slap relay
8 p.m. 3-legged race
8:30 p.m. set up luminaries10 p.m. Luminaria ceremony

Sunday, June 29

12 a.m. Pizza party
1 a.m. Flash light treasure hunt
2 a.m. Shoe race (after participants find them in the shoe pile)
3 a.m. Minute to win it
5 a.m. Name those tunes
6 a.m. Coffee, breakfast lap
7 a.m. Team challenge lap
9 a.m. Closing ceremonies and raffle ticket winners announced.


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