By Melody Vallieu
TROY — With the hope of continuing to help cancer patients, their families and caregivers, the Miami County Relay For Life event will return this weekend, again on a reduced footprint.
Event co-chair Nicole Bolin said because of the ongoing pandemic, the event will again be relatively small, held from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 19, at the Troy Eagles Campground, 2252 Troy-Urbana Road.
Bolin said there are currently 18 teams registered and they are hoping for at least a few hundred attendees for the annual event.
“It’s important for us to keep this event going to support the cancer community. For those who have lost their battle, those fighting and all the caregivers,” said Bolin, who said supporting the American Cancer Society and its programs is also a priority.
In line with the 2020 event, Bolin said there will be a drive-through luminary path for community members to enjoy. Those wishing to purchase a luminary in memory or in support of a loved one can come to the event to make a donation of $10, as online purchases are now closed.
A survivor dinner, with boxed dinners, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Bolin said they are offering a gift bag, a T-shirt and a boxed meal for the first 75 survivors that register and a few more spots remain. She said those interested can sign up on the website at Relayforlife.org/MiamiCounty or come out Saturday night and register at 6 p.m.
A DJ will play music throughout the evening and participants can congregate, or there will be a space set up for people to walk if they choose, similar to a normal Relay event, Bolin said. Fundraising events such as teams selling food items and crafts also will be available this year, and Bolin said the community is welcome to come out and donate by supporting one of the teams in this way.
Bolin, who was a caregiver for her grandmother who died from lung cancer, and who now supports her uncle who has Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, said one participant will be offering horse and wagon rides for a donation in support of Relay For Life.
She said Relay For Life raised about $50,000 last year and is on track to raise that much or even more this year. She said they also continue to fundraise through the end of August.
“We have less registrants, but more money being raised. After the pandemic, and people being short on money and holed up in their houses for a year … This means the community is coming back to support our event after going through that. It means a lot,” Bolin said, adding that donors can also visit the website and make a credit card donation.
A 2021 wrap-up event will be held at 5:30 p.m. July 13 at the Miami Valley Centre Mall, Bolin said. She said community members are invited to learn about how this year’s event went and more about the event for next year.
“We plan to return to the fairgrounds next year and have a more normal event,” said Bolin, whose co-chair is Cheryl McKenna. “We are looking for help in planning next year. There are opportunities that take little time.”
Bolin said people can visit the website or Facebook page for more information on how to help.
“No matter what time somebody has to give, we have a place for them,” she said.