The 24th Annual Fulton County Relay for Life will add a spark to the event Friday and Saturday at the Fulton County Fairgrounds with new features.
Sponsored by Wauseon Machine and Manufacturing, the charity event benefiting the American Cancer Society begins Friday with an opening ceremony at 6 p.m. Honorary Chair Julie Mires and Honorary Junior Chair Andrea Serna will share their thoughts before joining others in the traditional Survivors Walk for those who have beat or are currently being treated for cancer.
A corn hole tournament will be held 7-10 p.m. on the north side of the fairgrounds midway. About 30 two-person teams are wanted for the contest; prizes will be awarded for first through third places. The entry fee is $10 per person, and pre-registration is necessary by June 5. Call 419-388-5893 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A live auction will be held from 6:45-7 p.m. on the main stage. Items will include a yard dominos game, Detroit Tigers tickets; a toy wooden barn, a lottery ticket tree, a Relay for Life quilt fashioned from T-shirts, and an Ohio State University sign.
New this year will be performances by Delta band Hand Hewn, Wells Music from Wauseon, and Gypsy Luvin, an area acoustic folk rock band. The bands will replace the timeworn Miss Relay contest.
A free pie-eating contest is scheduled for 8-9 p.m., and vendor booths will be open from 6-9 p.m. in the Merchants Building.
At 10 p.m., memorial luminaries purchased to remember cancer victims will be lit around the on-site track, and the names of those remembered will be read.
Guests preferring to stay overnight will be regaled from 11 p.m.-9:30 a.m. with free activities that include Frisbee golf, Putt Putt golf, a water bottle knockdown game, a Cheese Ball Toss, a Relay Runway, and Red Fish Blue Fish, among others.
Saturday will begin with a 7 a.m. pancake and sausage breakfast hosted at the fairgrounds by members of St. Caspar Catholic Church in Wauseon for a freewill donation. It will be followed by a Kids’ Fun Run at 7:45 a.m. – a 400-meter run for children age five and under, and an 800-meter run for children age six and older. The races are free, but a commemorative T-shirt will cost $10.
Children’s activities throughout Relay for Life will include a bounce house, balloon animals, and bucket rides and hands-on fun with the Wauseon and Delta fire departments.
Registration for a 5K race around the fairgrounds begins Saturday at 7 a.m.; the race is at 8 a.m. Registration that morning is $25, and includes a T-shirt while supplies last.
Other Saturday morning events include POUND exercise class from 8-9:15 a.m., and a Drums Alive exercise class from 8-9:15 a.m. The cost is $5 for one or $8 for both.
Drawings for a Chinese Auction that begins Friday will be held 9-10 a.m. Saturday in the Merchants Building. From 11 a.m.-noon, guests can participate in How Well Do You Know Your Friend?, a game in the style of the Newlywed Game.
And, as with every annual Relay event, a book sale will be held throughout underneath the fairgrounds grandstand.
“We try to find lots of activities so there’s something for everybody,” said Dorothy Miller, Relay for Life co-chair.
About 800 people are anticipated to attend. Miller said this year’s goal for proceeds is $111,000; Relay teams and corporate donations have already raised $67,838. Last year’s total was $114,170.
Over its lifetime, Fulton County Relay for Life has brought in $2,336,849 for cancer research and patient programs.
Allison Boesel, the American Cancer Society facilitator for Relay for Life, said every penny is vital to continue fighting the disease.
“It supports the ACS mission, and we’re funding groundbreaking research on a daily basis,” she said. “Without this money, we can’t fund the research, so it’s crucial.”
Relay for Life proceeds are also used fund a support line for patients at 800-227-2345 and Road to Recovery, a volunteer service that transports patients to appointments.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.