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Registration begins for Relay for Life at high school

February 22, 2002

Registration begins for Relay for Life at high school



By RICHARD F. BELISLE
waynesboro@herald-mail.com


Eight years ago the Franklin County Unit of the American Cancer Society launched what its members thought was an ambitious event - the Relay for Life project. It brought in $20,000 for the charity.

This year, the eighth edition of the relay, the goal is $185,000. "It's been going up every year and it continues to grow," said Holly Burkett, a staff member at the society's office in Chambersburg, Pa.

The 2002 Relay for Life was officially kicked off Tuesday night at the Four Points Sheraton in Chambersburg. The relay itself will run for 24 hours beginning at 4 p.m. May 14 at the track at Greencastle-Antrim High School in Greencastle.

Relay planners are now signing up teams. Each team fields members to walk the track for the 24-hour period. Teams take pledges from supporters.

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The area surrounding the track takes on a carnival-like atmosphere on the day of the relay. Many teams bring tents, some even park travel trailers and recreation vehicles on the school grounds to create a mini community. The relay, in addition to raising a lot of money for cancer research, has become a popular social event for residents from around Franklin County.

Last year, 70 teams involving 900 walkers participated. This year, Burkett said, the society hopes to sign up at least 85 teams with more than 1,000 participants.

Last year the teams raised $167,000. This year's goal is $185,000, she said.

Teams can sign up by calling the society's office in Chambersburg at 1-717-264-4412.

The relay will get under way at 6 p.m. with the survivor's ceremony. Hundreds of cancer survivors and sufferers will take the first walk around the track in what Burkett describes as "an emotional moment. They all show such great courage. It gives people the reason why they're there," she said.

Another highlight on the first night of the relay is the luminary ceremony. Friends and families of loved ones who have succumbed to cancer pay $5 to light a luminary in their honor.

Sponsors help the society to pay expenses for the annual relay event. Categories range from $3,000 for diamond sponsors, $2,000 for platinum, $1,500 for gold, $1,000 for silver down to $500 for bronze.

Also well under way at this time is the society's annual Daffodil Days fund-raiser. Last year the event raised $40,000. This year's goal is $44,000, Burkett said. Money is raised through the sale of daffodils. Last year 7,000 bunches were sold in various configurations, Burkett said.

In April the society holds its annual auction in Waynesboro, an event that brought in $80,000 last year.

The annual Duck Derby, in which thousands of yellow rubber ducks are dumped into the Conococheague Creek above historic Martin's Mill Covered Bridge outside Greencastle, is scheduled for Aug. 11 this year. Last year the duck race netted $12,000 for the society. This year's goal is $13,000.

On July 26 the Ladies Golf Tournament gets under way at Penn National Golf Course. In 2001 it brought in $8,000. This year the goal is $9,000.

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