Starke County Relay For Life Kicks Off Today

Megan Hamand

The annual Starke County Relay for Life event begins today with opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. at the Starke County Fairgrounds in Hamlet. Event Chairperson Megan Hamand says there are a number of activities planned for the event.

“We’ve got games for kids, food, a car show, bands will be performing, including Narrow Gate and Konundrum, an American Red Cross blood drive, a food drive for Community Services of Starke County, and then we’ve got our regular relay events that you’ve learned to expect from us every year,” said Hamand.

Hamand says that two activities in particular are popular at the event.

“The Survivor Lap where we really honor and celebrate our survivors, and our solemn Luminaria ceremony which takes time to remember and honor those who that have fought cancer and those who have unfortunately lost their lives to it,” said Hamand.

Other fun activities are planned as well, including a Miss Relay competition at 7:30 p.m., and event that Hamand says is particularly popular because it features men dressing up as Miss Relay.

“We’ve got a lip syncing contest, minute-to-win-it games, and the silent auction is from 5 – 10:30 p.m. and, last I heard, we’re probably going to have about 100 baskets,” said Hamand.

Forty-three teams are taking part in this event to raise more money than last year’s total of $52,000.

All of the money raised benefits the American Cancer Society. The money will help fund a 24-hour hotline that is available for people to talk to someone if they’ve been recently diagnosed with cancer or need support in dealing with cancer. Hamand says the money will also help fund a clinical matching program.

“American Cancer Society has also started a clinical matching program where, if you’ve got cancer, they’ll match you with a clinical trial in your area that’s maybe researching your specific case. They also have programs where someone drives a patient to their chemo treatments if they don’t have someone to sit with them and drive them to their treatments. Those are all programs that Starke County has access to and should utilize,” Hamand said.

IU Health Starke Hospital is this year’s premier sponsor of the Starke County Relay for Life. If you need more information, call Megan Hamand at KeyBank at (574) 772-2144.