Lace up your athletic shoes, put on a Hawaiian lei and head out to the Grundy County Relay for Life activities Saturday at Trenton High School.
The Relay is the signature fund-raising event for the American Cancer Society.
Money raised at the Grundy County Relay for Life will be spent on cancer research; support services to cancer patients and to their caregivers and families; and on education and advocacy programs geared to the prevention and early detection of cancer.
A car show will rev up the Relay event Saturday morning. Owners of classic, restored and specialty vehicles are welcome to bring their vehicles to the Trenton High School parking lot off Normal Street and enter the car show. Registration will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., followed by judging at 1 p.m. and an awards ceremony at 3 p.m. In addition to the judgeâ€™s top selections, fans can vote for their favorite vehicle. A concession stand will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the car show. All proceeds will be donated to Grundy County Relay for Life.
The Relay event itself will kick off at 2 p.m. and last until about 11 p.m. in the circle drive in front of Trenton High and Middle schools. This yearâ€™s theme is â€śRe-Lei for a Cureâ€ť and teams will decorate their booths using a Hawaiian motif. Teams will set up their booths Saturday morning and be ready for activities beginning with the opening ceremony at 2 p.m. Team members will start walking laps after the opening ceremony. The public is invited to join us for one or more laps.
Everyone who has heard the words, â€śYou have cancerâ€ť is invited to participate in the Survivor lap at 6 p.m. Each survivor will be introduced, then, as a group, they will walk one lap around the circle drive as team members and everyone else cheers them on and celebrates their lives. Caregivers will join the survivors for a second lap as the crowd cheers. Everyone who has battled cancer will tell you of the importance of caregivers, so Relay honors them, too. Caregivers are truly the wind beneath the wings of cancer survivors.
Relay For Life was also the topic of Open Line recently on KTTN Radio. Sarah Maloney, Katie Kinney, Christy Klasse and Laura Patterson were the guest speakers detailing the event.
The Relay for Life teams will be introduced following the survivor/caregiver laps. Twenty teams representing families, churches, businesses and organizations signed up for Relay this year. Some teams have been holding fund-raisers for months, while others will raise the bulk of their funds by selling food, beverages and other items the afternoon and evening of relay.
The general public is invited to walk laps, or walk about the team camps, buy some food, beverages and look at the items to be auctioned Saturday evening.
Food items for sale will include walking tacos, chili dogs, pulled pork sandwiches, turkey legs, snow cones, funnel cakes and popcorn. A special sandwich, Martha-Rites, will take those of a certain age back in time to the days when Bob and Martha McRae ran a popular restaurant on Ninth Street in Trenton. Food, beverages and more will be for sale throughout the Relay event.
An auction of donated items will begin around 6:30 p.m. The sale bill includes a 1920 Morgan Silver Dollar, a 1978 Morgan Silver Dollar, a Kansas City Royals basket, a watermelon basket with picnic supplies, a home-cooked meal for six, decorative birdhouses, homemade purses, crafts, antique tin accent pieces and much more. Members of the Trenton High School FFA will donated their time for manual labor projects of the bidderâ€™s choice. Last year, the FFA provided a girlsâ€™ team and a boysâ€™ team and the bidding was lively for both teams.
Following the auction, corporate sponsors will be recognized and total thus far raised by each team will be announced and celebrated.
Lap walking, music and other activities will be suspended at about 9 p.m. for the Luminaria Ceremony. This will be a quiet, reflective time as those attending the Relay pause to light candles as the names of family and friends who have died from cancer and the names of cancer survivors are read. Luminaria can be purchased from team members, during business hours through Friday at the Trenton Chamber of Commerce Office and at the Relay until about 8 p.m. Saturday.
A luminaria bag with a candle can be purchased in honor of someone who currently has cancer, someone in remission and someone who won their fight. Luminaria bags can also be purchased in memory of someone who lost their battle against cancer. This year, the suggested donation for each luminaria bag is $5. For an additional $5, you can purchase a fresh rose to put in the bag, lay on the track in front of the bag, or to give to a cancer survivor or caregiver.
Entertainment, music and games will continue after the Luminaria Ceremony, as team members and the public continue to walk around the circle drive.
Relay will conclude with the Fight Back Ceremony at 10:30 p.m. While the lighting of the luminaries is a solemn ceremony, the Fight Back Ceremony will be loud and upbeat. Team members and the public are invited to participate by introducing themselves and telling how they will Fight Back against cancer in the coming year. Ways to Fight Back include wearing sunscreen; eating health and nutritious foods; exercising; and getting routine physical examinations.
All proceeds from Grundy County Relay for Life will be donated to the American Cancer Society. As a county organization the various teams are about half way to the goal of $30,000. The county organization sponsored a bucket drive in April and a Schwanâ€™s frozen food promotion currently underway and continuing for the rest of the year. Information about how to participate in the Schwanâ€™s fundraiser will be available at Relay.
Various teams have had fund-raisers, too, including a barbecue, a challenge basketball game and a challenge softball game. Other fund-raisers are in the planning stages and will be announced later.
The American Cancer Society spends more than $130 million each year on cancer research projects. It is second only to the federal government in the amount of money invested in research. One-third of the money raised in the High Plains Division, which includes Grundy County, is spent on cancer research projects and related activities. Almost 30 percent is spent on patient service programs that support cancer patients, their caregivers and their families. Another 18 percent is spent on education and advocacy programs geared to the prevention and early detection of cancer. The remaining funds are spent on fund-raising and operation of the society.