The annual Fulton County Relay For Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday, June 9, at the fairgrounds, with a couple of slight tweaks to the traditional activities.
The wacky men-in-dresses Miss Relay For Life Pageant will be replaced with the Ugly Christmas Attire Contest to coincide with the event’s “Christmas in June” theme. Open to men and women, it will be held 9 p.m. on the main stage, and prizes in five categories will go directly to whichever Relay teams the participants represent.
Registration is necessary by 6 p.m. Friday through a team captain or the Relay For Life Facebook page, or by visiting fultonrelay.com.
To continue with the theme, Christmas movies will be shown from 1-6 a.m. in the fairgrounds Merchants Building.
Relay For Life will begin with the traditional opening ceremony that includes a lap around the track by cancer survivors. It will continue with a live auction from 7-8 p.m. that will include a lottery ticket tree and various gift baskets containing such items as Relay gear, kids’ items, Ohio State merchandise, a 30-day pass to Anytime Fitness, and Detroit Tigers merchandise, including four tickets to an Aug. 22 game against the New York Yankees.
There will also be a Chinese auction that begins 6 p.m. Friday and concludes 10 a.m. Saturday morning, with drawings for such items as his and her bicycles, a spa basket, and kids’ items.
A luminaria ceremony will begin 10 p.m., allowing visitors to walk the track bordered by lighted luminaries purchased in memory of cancer victims, whose names will be announced. Luminaries will be available for $10 each until 9 p.m.
Following an available Saturday morning breakfast hosted by St. Caspar Catholic Church, the annual Run For Relay 5K will be held at 9 a.m. A car show will be held off the midway beginning at 8 a.m.; registration begins at 7 a.m. Any cars are welcome, and there is a $10 registration fee.
Twenty-two Relay teams are participating in this year’s event, and more than 10 vendors’ booths will be open. Relay’s signature book sale will be held throughout under the grandstand.
Relay For Life will end Saturday at noon.
Chairperson Amanda Bird said 1,000 people are anticipated to attend, and all ages are welcome. A goal of $110,000 has been set, with donations already reaching about half the amount. They will be accepted through August, and will, in part, benefit local cancer patients.
“Cancer does not discriminate. Cancer touches everyone,” Bird said. “No matter how big or small your donation is, it makes a big difference in what we’re doing and the research that we’re funding.”
Relay For Life began in 1985 in Tacoma, Wash., and has spread internationally. The Fulton County chapter has hosted an annual fundraiser for over 20 years.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.