By RICK HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — MT. VERNON — A kickoff rally to launch fundraising efforts for Jefferson County Relay for Life will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Crossroads Community Hospital.
The rally will be held in the hospital’s conference room.
Although the Relay for Life of Jefferson County is still more than four months away, now is the time to get involved, according to co-chair Ashley Withrow.
“The purpose is to kick off our relay season and allow our teams to sign up, to give out information about what we do and how to get more involved,” Withrow said. “Everyone is welcome, just to get the word out that our walk is in June.”
The 2014 Relay for Life of Jefferson County will take place on June 14 at Mt. Vernon Township High School track. It will begin at 6 p.m. and end the following morning around 6 a.m.
“Our kickoff this year in an open house style. Individuals are welcome to come and go and enjoy free food, videos, music and surprises,” Withrow said.
The Jefferson County organization exceeded its goal of $80,000 last year by raising over $82,000. This year’s goal is $83,000. The Peacock Printing team raised the most money for last year’s event.
In her first year as chairman, Withrow said she was pleased with the results.
“I was very pleased how it went. We had great teams and great volunteers. Everyone pulled together and made it successful event,” she said.
Jefferson County won three awards from the American Cancer Society as a result of its fundraising efforts. They included the Pacesetter Award for establishing its goal on the night of the relay; Heart of Relay, an award based on survivorship; and the All-American Relay Award.
Relay for Life participants and visitors have a chance to celebrate the victory of local cancer survivors during the Survivors Lap; remember those who are fighting cancer or those who have lost their battle to the disease during the Luminaria Ceremony; and participate in the Fight Back Ceremony, which gives everyone a chance to proclaim his or her own way of taking action against the disease.
Donations can be made to the local event by visiting RelayForLife.org. Community members also can start or join a team by following the links to the local Relay event.
Withrow will be joined by co-chair Jerilee Hopkins to organize this year’s event. For more information about the kickoff event or how you can get involved in Relay for Life you may call Withrow at (618) 237-8469 or Hopkins at (618) 214-5565.