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Relay for Life organizers looking for teams

The cafeteria of Chesapeake Middle School was awash with the color purple Tuesday evening and not because it’s the favorite shade of the Panthers.

Purple is also the color that stands for cancer survivors. And throughout the room were tables covered in purple cloths, there to give visitors information about this spring’s Relay for Life.

At the table in the back of the cafeteria was a woman who understands what it means to beat deplorable odds.

Megan Filkins Fout was busy signing up Relay for Life teams online as part of the evening’s kickoff of the annual event.

In 2004 Fout was diagnosed with melanoma on her leg. Three years later it had spread to her brain where doctors at The Ohio State University Medical Center told her they had stopped counting the tumors when the number reached 25.

This Jan. 3, a regular MRI scan showed that figure was now at zero.

“They were gone. None,” Fout said. “They had told us they would never be gone.”

It’s that personal story of surviving cancer that Relay for Life is all about. Organizers were busy Tuesday handing out information packets to those wanting to have a team at the May 20 event, explaining how to raise funds and what the overnight Relay is all about.

Wanda Willoughby signs up to be part of this spring’s Relay for Life at the kickoff Tuesday night at Chesapeake Middle School.

“I think it is great. It is a fun event,” said Ginger Hardy, adviser for Ohio University Southern’s Student Nurses Association.

Hardy was there with student nurses signing up for the organization’s fourth year at the Relay.

“It’s exciting and for a great a cause,” she said. “I think cancer touches everyone.”

Susan McClellan, Fout’s aunt, was at the fundraising table explaining about the annual Daffodil Day sale where potted and cut flowers or teddy bears could be purchased. Order deadline is March 4. That, along with selling Anthony Thomas candy bars, are among the ways teams raise money for the Relay. All funds raised go to the American Cancer Society for research.

A new feature at this year’s Relay will be the Mr. and Miss Relay 2011 pageant, open to children from the age of 1 to 6. Registration is $25 in advance and $30 the day of the pageant. Participants will be judged on the following categories: best smile, best personality and best overall.

For more information on the pageant, contact Ashley Floyd at ashleynicole1983@gmail.com. Information on the Relay can be found at www.relayforlife.org/LawrenceCounty.