Relay for Life kicks off Nov. 7

South Shelby Relay for Life Co-Chair Helen Dean, Chair Mary Strehle and Trina Stogner plan the Relay's kick-off party on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. at Stogner's Color Outside the Lines store in Columbiana.

South Shelby Relay for Life Co-Chair Helen Dean, Chair Mary Strehle and Trina Stogner plan the Relay’s kick-off party on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. at Stogner’s Color Outside the Lines store in Columbiana.

By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON/For the Reporter

COLUMBIANA – The South Shelby Relay for Life has a new mission – to flush away cancer.

Relay Chair Mary Strehle and Co-Chair Helen Dean have planned the “flush away” kick-off party, Thursday, Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. at Color Outside the Lines, 101 South Main Street, Columbiana.

Trina Stogner has volunteered to paint a toilet purple and attendees are asked to bring treasures of any kind to decorate the “Relay Toilet,” which will be placed in front of businesses and homes for the next few months. The toilet will be moved for a minimum $10 donation to the American Cancer Society. For for a $20 donation, you get to choose who gets the “Relay Toilet” next.

Strehle and Dean want to bring fun and humor back to the Relay to raise awareness for the American Cancer Society. The party is free and open to the public. Chili will be served, as well as drinks and desserts. Rob Robinson Jr. will provide entertainment.

Stogner, whose mother is a breast cancer survivor, has donated canvases for attendees to paint during the party. She will then use the canvases to create a piece of art to be auctioned on Relay night.

Community volunteers are needed for the following chairmen: survivors, team recruitment, sponsorship, registration, luminaries, publicity, children’s activities, entertainment, and logistics.

“We want this community to own this event,” Strehle said. “Last year when I was the Relay’s co-chair, I lost my sister-in-law to cancer and I was diagnosed with breast cancer and am taking chemo now. The American Society sent me treatment options after my diagnosis, called and surrounded me with a support system. Last year we had 15 teams and raised $30,000. I would like to double that. I hope the community really supports this relay.”

Local residents who are fighting breast cancer include Mollie Wilder and Nena Goode, who have brain and breast cancer respectively. The two have joined forces with their friends and families to form the “Shelby County Boobs and Brains” team and are looking forward to the kick-off party.

“I have a new motto,” said Mollie’s mother, Renee’ Wilder. “I want to flush away cancer! I hate cancer!”