By TIM CLEVELAND
For a full 24 hours, participants in the Relay For Life of Austintown event walked, jogged and ran to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
The 324 registered participants helped raise $80,212.46 during the relay at Austintown Township Park, which lasted from 6 p.m. on June 13 until 6 p.m. on June 14.
ACS Relay For Life of Austintown committee member Nicole Novotny said months of planning went into making the event a success.
“The committee started meeting in September,” she said. “This year we changed locations, which meant that we had to really come together to make sure the event ran smoothly. Throughout the year, different sub-committees met with DJs, sound crews, tent rentals and those who run the events at the park. Together we all had to come up with a plan that worked with the location and would create the best outcome for our event. Each month we also met with the teams to keep them up-to-date on fundraisers and what would take place at Relay. Teams would also bring their individual fundraisers to the meetings so that we could all support each other’s efforts throughout the year.”
In addition to the relay, there were also music, live entertainment and other activities. There was a live performance by The Rage, which began playing after the opening laps and continued until midnight.
“There are many things that take place at Relay,” Novotny said. “Most teams have basket raffles and food sales in their tents. We had The Rage as our main entertainment on Friday night. We had other bands play throughout the day on Saturday. This year Buffalo Wild Wings sponsored a wing eating contest. We had dance groups come out. There was a scavenger hunt and frozen T-shirt contest as well as many other fun activities.”
Novotny said the event will return again next June and said this year’s event was a success.
“I think the event was a success,” she said. “With the change of the location, we knew that we wouldn’t be where we normally are but we still accomplished what we come to do every year. We are there to raise awareness and help in the fight to end cancer. No matter what the numbers are in the end, we still have contributed a great deal to the fight.”