The Upshur County Relay For Life committee hosted its 16th kickoff event focusing on families and children to spread the message about the organization's mission - raising funds for cancer support services and research to find a cure through the American Cancer Society.
This year's county theme is A Relay Family Reunion - A Relaytion Celebration. Co-chairs Crystal Shaw and Bobby Stell said it is all about getting families to get involved in Relay.
The committee wants to build on the success of school Relay For Life efforts such as Penny War competitions and the Rock Cave Elementary School's own mini-Relay each year.
Relay For Life community manager Mike Alkire already put on a cancer education program at Washington District Elementary School and plans are in the works to go to other schools as well.
This new focus on education beginning with the youngest community members is part of Upshur County Relay For Life's efforts to involve children and families more in support of an event that touches many people in the community.
"We really want to make this year's Relay special," Stell said.
Shaw added, "As a committee and as teams, we are trying to sell our event and sell American Cancer Society programs and services. You all are salespeople in our community."
That means making sure the word is out there about the services ACS provides. More information can be found at www.cancer.org.
Along with a focus on children and families, the Relay committee also plans to see where in the county it is lacking. The plan will then be to reach out to churches, organizations or businesses in those areas to start Relay For Life teams.
Marjorie Westfall, a 28-year cancer survivor who attended the Feb. 28 kickoff, said she got involved in Relay For Life because she saw how "our dollars really make the difference."
The Upshur County Relay For Life Committee has set a goal of $120,000 for the year.
The Upshur County Relay for Life committee thanked the Women of the Moose for providing the meal and Mountain View Event Center for hosting the kickoff.
The third annual Upshur County Relay For Life Ultimate Indoor Yard Sale will take place March 16 at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School. Doors will open at 8 a.m. and close at 3:30 p.m.
The 16th annual Upshur County Relay For Life is slated for July 26 at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School.
Folks also can contact community manager Mike Alkire at 304-591-4215 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or co-chairs Crystal Shaw at 304-472-9173 or email@example.com and Bobby Stell at 304-704-5867 or firstname.lastname@example.org.