Relay for Life of South Shelby kick-off set for Jan. 20

By BRAD GASKINS/Staff Writer

Relay for Life is the signature fund-raising event for the American Cancer Society.

Relay for Life of South Shelby, scheduled for May 13, is one of more than 4,000 relays held worldwide.

To generate excitement for the South Shelby relay, a kick-off celebration is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20, at Liberty Baptist Church from 6-7:30 p.m.

The kick-off will include free food, door prizes, giveaways and guest speakers, including June Niven, wife of Chelsea Mayor Earl Niven.

Relay for Life teams consist of 10 to 25 people taking turns walking or running around the track, relay-style. Ten teams have already signed-up. Thirty teams are expected to sign-up, event organizers said.

Teams can sign up at the kick-off event. Teams that have already signed-up can pick-up information packets at the kick-off to learn about some new features for this year’s relay.

Location will likely be the most noticeable difference this year.

The relay has moved to Chelsea High School after being in Columbiana for more than a decade.

“We’re not sending it permanently to Chelsea,” said Kate Kelley, a staff partner with the American Cancer Society. “The South Shelby relay encompasses all of South Shelby, so we’re sending it to Chelsea since Chelsea is growing so much. Everyone feels this is a positive change.”

Following the kick-off, three team captain meetings are scheduled: Feb. 21 at Bernie’s and March 21 and April 18 at Johnny Ray’s. All captain meetings are from 6-7 p.m.

Bank Night is May 9 from 4-6 p.m. at M & F Bank.

The relay hopes to raise $75,000 for the ACS, Kelley said, adding that Chelsea High School has pledged to raise $20,000.

“A lot of other schools are on-board with this,” she said. “We want to get the whole community on-board with this. If you want to be part of a committee or a volunteer, we certainly would love that.”

The “growing” committee has about 25 members, Kelley said.

Kelley said there is a strong focus this year on making sure survivors are honored, at the relay and the kick-off.

At the relay, the Novella Club will put on a Survivor Dinner during the relay session. Survivors are encouraged to register by phone (930-8869) or online at RelayForLife.org/southshelby.