Relay for Life to hit the track

By Cecilia Fox -

MIAMI COUNTY — This weekend, the 2016 Miami County Relay for Life will honor all the real-life superheroes who battle cancer every day.

More than 50 teams with nearly 500 members are already registered to participate in this year’s superhero-themed event, which will be held at the Miami County Fairgrounds in Troy on May 6 and 7.

Relay for Life celebrates survivors’ victory over cancer and remembers those who lost their battles against the disease. The overnight event also celebrates caregivers, who support their friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers facing cancer.

“A Relay for Life event is an experience,” Team Ambassador Nicole Bolin said. “And it’s someplace that people that have faced or are facing a cancer journey can go for support.”

The goal this year is to raise $200,000, Bolin said. Relay for Life of Miami County is well on their way to achieving that goal, with about $110,000 already raised. Their fundraising efforts continue until August.

This year’s Relay will feature the usual fun and games, and traditional activities like the survivors’ dinner, survivors’ lap, and luminaria ceremony, plus a number of other activities, including live music and an auction.

The survivor’ lap kicks off the festivities, immediately following the opening ceremony at 5:45. Cancer survivors and their caregivers are also invited to attend the annual survivors’ dinner celebration following the survivors’ lap.

Event organizers have scheduled a “Rev It Up for Relay” poker run at 6:30 p.m. on Friday. Live musical entertainment from Kenny Coulter will also begin at 6:30 p.m.

The tradition luminaria ceremony, which honors those who have lost their battle with cancer, is set to start at 8:30 p.m. There will also be a live auction held at 10 p.m. Friday.

“And then we have some open activities all through the late night,” Bolin said. “And we’ll have another live band at 12:30.”

Saturday will begin with a 7:30 a.m. workout to get everyone up and moving, with program demonstrations from the Miami County YMCA and Curves of Tipp City. A Fight Back ceremony will be held Saturday at noon, which honors the action participants can take to fight cancer.

You don’t have to register as a fundraising team to be a part of the celebration, Bolin said. Anyone is welcome to stop by, take a lap, enjoy the celebration, and find out more about Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society.

“We like to welcome anybody and everybody from the community,” Bolin said. “It’s most important for us to support not only cancer survivors, but caregivers, people that have lost loved ones to cancer, and people that are currently going through a cancer journey of some sort.”

Relay for Life began after Dr. Gordy Klatt walked and ran around a track in Tacoma, Wash., for 24 hours in May 1985, raising $27,000 for the American Cancer Society. The following year, more than 300 supporters joined the overnight event and since then, Relay for Life has grown into a worldwide movement that has raised nearly $5 billion to fight cancer.

To participate in Relay for Life, donate money or to find more information, visit the website at “Like” the event’s Facebook page at for other updates.

By Cecilia Fox

Reach the reporter at or (937) 552-2205.

Reach the reporter at or (937) 552-2205.