Relay for Life sign-ups now under way

Monday, January 20, 2014

Spring is on its way and with the nicer weather comes the annual Putnam County Relay for Life event, which helps the fight against cancer.

The organization recently held its first 2014 event, a kickoff breakfast, to begin getting event information out to the community and sign up teams.

This year, the event will take place Saturday, April 26 from noon-midnight, once again at DePauw's Indoor Tennis and Track Center, in hopes of increasing participation as well as encouraging people to stay for the entire event.

Relay for Life is an overnight community gathering, which began in May 1985, where everyone is provided with an opportunity to fight cancer and help save lives. The American Cancer Society event began in Tacoma, Wash., and is now taking place worldwide in more than 5,200 communities and 20 countries with more than 4 million participants. The event raises nearly $400 million a year.

This year, the Relay For Life committee took a different approach and instead of holding a community kickoff breakfast, a quick and informal meeting was held at Area 30 Career Center.

Leading the meeting was Co-Chairman for Putnam County Dick Shuck, who informed the community that this year's theme would be Passport for The Cure with a fundraising goal of $140,000.

Shuck also explained one major change that he hopes to enact this year is bringing the DePauw and Putnam County community together to work as one.

"We want you to involve everyone. We are asking the community to help support the overall community of Relay," Shuck said. "We want it to be a really strong partnership. We need to support one another because in the long run, it's all for the same goal and for the same cause."

Relay participants are asked to meet with the committees and subcommittees and participate and volunteer when you can. Teams are encouraged to help identify survivors to be honored at the Relay dinner as well as during the event, support other team fundraising events and share their story with others.

"It's important that we raise money, but more importantly it's that we come together as a community," Shuck added.

Another addition this year is an effort to add more community enthusiasm. During the week of April 13, Relay participants will also be "Painting the Town," by decorating businesses around the area to build up and promote the event and raise awareness.

"The students will be talking to businesses about decorating their stores, to help to celebrate and get people focused on the event," Shuck explained. "Again we want it to be a really strong partnership."

As the meeting came to a close, Shuck also stressed the importance of getting teams signed up as soon as possible to begin fundraising.

Teams typically consist of about 15 members, but all sizes are welcome. All members are welcome to attend the actual relay but are not required to. However, teams are advised to have enough members to walk the track at all times.

It was also noted that all participants do not need a campsite, as space will be tight within the indoor track.

"If you're going to have a campsite, think about the campsite, how much space you're going to require and what you're going to do at the campsite," Shuck said. "If you're going to have a team there that wants to walk and doesn't want a campsite that's fine, but don't sign up for a campsite and occupy space if that's not your intent."

Teams who choose to have a campsite are encouraged to make it as elaborate or as simple as they'd like. However, all should try and relate it to the theme of Passport for a Cure.

Keeping with tradition and the motto of "Cancer Never Sleeps," each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event and to raise a minimum of $100 each.

Relay for Life is also looking for sponsorships for the event. Depending on the amount of donation, the business will have its name on a T-shirt and banner as well as mentioned in the opening and closing ceremonies.

The first team captain meeting will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 19 in the UB Ballroom at DePauw beginning at 7 p.m.

For more information on the event email To sign up a team visit

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