Relay for Life off to good start

Published 9:56 am Friday, February 18, 2011

Event to raise money for cancer research

PROCTORVILLE — It’s only her second year at chairing Lawrence County’s Relay for Life, and once again Melanie Kerstetter finds the dedication of others in the county to the cause amazing.

“It is awesome,” Kerstetter said. “There are so many people in Lawrence County who have been touched by cancer and they want to give back. People are more than gracious in wanting to come out.”

In about 90 days will be the 2011 Relay for Life at the football field at the Chesapeake Middle School.

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There are already 10 teams signed up to participate this May 20 and 21 in what has been termed the largest slumber party.

Teams spend the months leading up to the weekend raising money through a variety of events. All proceeds go to cancer research.

Right now leading the fundraisers is the team of the Colorful Cuties from the Proctorville Woman’s Club, who have brought close to $1,000 to the cause.

“We started in September, pretty much after the other one ended,” Helen Galligan, a team captain, said.

The woman’s club team has worked for Relay since 2004.

“There were several of our ladies who had had cancer in the club and it was so ironic. We did it as a club in May 2004 and in August I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Half of our members on the team have had cancer or have family who had cancer.”

The kind of cancer that hit Galligan is the same that caused the death of Jacqueline Onassis in 1994. Then the disease was always fatal. However, Galligan was able to undergo new treatment.

“The treatment I took at the time was fairly new. It had only been in existence for about six years,” she said. “It just worked fantastic for me. I feel the money raised for research and development is going to find new discoveries for medicines that would be effective.”

This year’s Relay has new entertainment directors who plan to make the all-nighter filled with music from local bands. And it is not too late for organizations or a group of individuals to form new teams for the event.

Anyone interested can come to the upcoming team captain meeting Tuesday, March 1, at 7 p.m. at the Chesapeake Middle School.

Two traditional events associated with the Relay will be on tap. One is the annual spring daffodil sale.

“Our community is making a difference in the fight against cancer one daffodil at a time with Daffodil Days,” Kerstetter said. Potted mini daffodils are available for $12; a bunch of 10 daffodils for $10; and a Boyd’s Bear and a bunch of flowers for $25.

Delivery date is scheduled for the week of March 14.  To place your order or for any questions, contact Daffodil Days Chair, Susan McClellan at (740) 646-2366 or Melanie Kerstetter (304) 412-0441 or Debbie Filkins at (740) 646-0409.

The another is the annual survivors dinner, one of the first events on the opening night of the Relay.

“We would like to invite all survivors to the dinner,” Kerstetter said. “Everyone who is a cancer survivor is welcome to come. Some people think they haven’t been a survivor long enough. If they are a one-day survivor or a 10-year survivor, that is the purpose of Relay.”

Upcoming Relay

fundraising events:

• Order of Eastern Star carnival at the Masonic Lodge in Proctorville from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday. There will be Cornhole and pool tournaments, silent auction, food and fun for children.

• Friends for Life cookbook available at

• Faithful Fighters charity event at Bob Evans in Ashland Monday, Feb. 21, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Flyers are required and are available by calling Kerstetter at (740) 646-0409.

• Lawrence County Relay charity event week of Feb. 28 through March 6 at Uno restaurant at Pullman Square in Huntington, W.Va. Twenty percent of proceeds from the week will go to Relay.

•Proctorville Woman’s Club Team on Sunday, April 10, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Rome Church of Christ. Menu will feature three kinds of specialty teams, soup, finger sandwiches and desserts. Tickets ate $25.