Upshur County Relay for Life seeks to raise $30,000 at July 16 event

BUCKHANNON — Buckhannon City Council has signed a proclamation naming July 2022 as Relay for Life Month in the City of Buckhannon and urging individuals, families, businesses, schools, service organizations, churches and neighbors to unite in the fight against cancer, honor cancer survivors and remember those lost to the disease.

Robin Oldaker, chairwoman of the Relay for Life of Upshur County, told council that this year’s Relay for Life is slated for July 16, 2022 at Jawbone Park with the theme, ‘Cheers to 25 years.’

“We have set our fundraising goal for this year at $30,000,” Oldaker said. “As we are raising funds, something I recently learned is out of every dollar we raise, 73 cents goes to research and patient care – such as getting patients to care, getting patients housing, paying for prosthesis or wigs or something like that. Only 27 cents goes to administrative costs. It is a worthy fundraiser.”

Over the years the length of the event has changed.

“We used to walk for 24 hours, and then it went down to 12 hours,” she said. “Next it went to 10 hours and now we walk for four hours. The last time we had Relay, in 2019, we started at 4 p.m. and went to 11 p.m. The temperature was 92 degrees and the heat index was 102 degrees.”

But not to fear – Oldaker said even with the shortened length, the Relay for Life of Upshur County still offers the survivor lap, the caregiver lap and the luminaria service.

“We are still covering everything and we invite everyone to attend,” Oldaker said.

Also during the recent city council meeting, Jewel Fisher, assistant coordinator for the Buckhannon Police Department VIPS — Volunteers in Police Service — requested funding in the amount of $750 to purchase food and awards for a first responders dinner.

“I am here to ask for $750 to buy food, plaques and supplies for the banquet,” Fisher said. “The menu will be spaghetti and meatballs, tossed salad and Italian bread and desserts. The sauce will be the Cerullo family recipe, so it is bound to be good. I am also requesting one member of Buckhannon City Council attend the dinner to help pass out awards. It will be held July 30, 2022.”

Buckhannon City Council voted unanimously to fund the dinner and to send a council member to help with awards.

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