FORTVILLE — The Relay for Life of Mt. Vernon returns this weekend, with more to do than ever before and a goal of raising more money.
“It’s never too late to sign up. I always encourage people that if they’re not sure, just come out,” team development chairwoman Ashley Plank said. “We’ll have things going on all day and all night long into the next morning.”
Joining the American Cancer Society’s fundraiser to support cancer research, recovery and more, organizers are planning an event similar to those offered in past years, just bigger.
The Relay for Life will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Mt. Vernon Middle School track. It will continue for 24 straight hours before closing ceremonies begin at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
This year, a new addition is a classic car show. Cars will line up in the parking lot near the track. The show is being held in memory of Russell Hayes, a lover of classic cars who recently lost his battle with cancer.
“This is something he really would have loved to see, and we know he’ll be there in spirit,” Plank said.
More people are already set to participate this year than ever before, and this week, the group had already raised more than $23,000 before the events even begin. That puts them on pace for a potentially record-setting year in donations.
There will be a survivor lunch and survivor lap on Saturday, and a silent auction will take place from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday. It’s a new event that replaces the live auction and will allow organizers to raise more funds and give visitors and participants a better chance to buy items.
The popular luminaria ceremony will begin at dusk and give participants a chance to light a candle to remember loved ones lost to cancer or to honor those currently battling the disease.
This year, the relay theme is “superheroes,” and organizers sought a way to honor real-life heroes in the community.
“Our real superheroes aren’t only our survivors and fighters of cancer, but also our police, fire and military,” Plank said.
Local police and firefighters are set to line the track and use their red and blue lights to add radiance to the luminaria ceremony.
A few years ago, the Fortville-McCordsville Relay for Life became the Mt. Vernon Relay for Life since organizers wanted to include the entire school community. It also allowed them to get more younger participants involved.
“We’re definitely glad they’ve gotten involved,” Plank said.
Event takes place at Mt. Vernon Middle School track, 1862 W. Ind. 234, Fortville
MT. VERNON RELAY FOR LIFE SCHEDULE
8 a.m. – Registration and team setup starts
9 a.m. – Cruise-In Car Show begins
10 a.m. – Opening ceremonies
11 a.m. – Survivor lap and laregiver lap
12 p.m. – Survivor/caregiver lunch and celebration
Noon – Silent auction begins and continues to 8 p.m.
2 p.m. – Minute to Win It games
4 p.m. – Fight Back ceremony
10 p.m. – Luminaria ceremony
11 p.m. – Movie Night
2 a.m. – Minute to Win It games
4 a.m. – Minute to Win It games
6 a.m. – Minute to Win It games
8 a.m. – Yoga
9 a.m. – Closing ceremonies
10 a.m. – Clean-up lap
More information about the Mt. Vernon Relay for Life, including ways to sign up and get involved, is available online at www.relayforlife.org/mccordsvillein and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MtVernonRelayforLife.
RELAY FOR LIFE IN GREENFIELD
Organizers are planning the county’s other Relay for Life event in Greenfield.
The round-the-clock marathon will be June 13 at Greenfield-Central High School.
More information on the 28th annual event is available by calling organizer Brooke Melton at (317) 435-1381.