Tyler County Relay for Life Committee Members hold up the shirts that will be on sale throughout the month of March to support their cause. The shirts read that West Virginia boys (blue) and girls (gold) will be "working for a cure."
From left to right: Carmen Hathaway, Shelley Maxwell, Sandy Furbee, Debbie Weekley, Katrina Byers, Joyce Hagerty, Gwen Davies and Connie Boyd.
The Tyler County Relay For Life (RFL) Committee met Feb. 5 at the First United Methodist Church in Sistersville to discuss the group's upcoming 2014 events. Headlining those events will be an open house with this year's theme "Fishing for a Cure" to be held on Feb. 24 from 7-9 p.m. in the Tyler Consolidated High School Library.
The purpose of the open house is to learn about and register teams, purchase and design luminaria bags, participate in activities for all ages, and find out more information about RFL. Refreshments will be provided.
Joyce Hagerty, Tyler Consolidated art instructor and luminaria chair, said she will be hanging fish kites made by her students.
"They would brighten the place up," she said, stating that she intentionally included the theme of fish in artwork projects.
The open house will have six stations in all, a table set up for each one with decorations regarding the theme. Each table will offer different activities.
Hagerty said students could help set things up and stated she would like to display more of their art.
Go to www.relayforlife.org/tylerwv to follow all RFL events.
It was stated that Sistersville Elementary School would be holding its own kickoff on Feb. 10, taking place five to 10 minutes prior to the start of school. Committee members explained the different things the schools are trying to do each month in order to support RFL.
They also discussed entity sponsors in the community, as well as those who are forming RFL teams.
"If you're in contact with a new prospective sponsor, stay on it," said Relay For Life Specialist Carmen Hathaway, encouraging further involvement from community people and organizations. "This is a perfect opportunity to find out what RFL is."
Sponsorship Chairman Volunteer Connie Boyd informed committee members that they can visit volunteerlearning.cancer.org in order to train for the chairs they occupy. She said the site should help them to develop their plans and answer questions they may have.
The committee passed out sheets explaining corporate sponsorship opportunities: Platinum Sponsor, $3,000; Gold Sponsor, $2,000; Silver Sponsor, $1,000; Bronze Sponsor, $500; Lap Sponsor, $100; and Friends of Relay Sponsor less than $100. While higher levels of sponsorship grant more publicity, all sponsorship is encouraged and will be recognized.
Those interested in becoming a sponsor can reach Boyd by calling 304-652-2469 or messaging email@example.com. They mentioned that Koolaids Family Pizza in Sistersville is one of those sponsors, offering a total of 40 free pizzas for RFL events.
Examples of shirts for team captains and survivors were shown. Also, during the month of March, school children will be selling boys and girls shirts that state "working for a cure." Youth sizes will be $10 a shirt and adult sizes will be $12 a shirt. Each extra size will cost $1 more. Colors are gold for girls and navy blue for boys.
Also at the meeting, they showed Blue Star pins that the American Cancer Society is using to spread awareness about colon cancer. That discussion coincided with their Mission Delivery, which seeks to promote new information each month.
"Wear the Blue Star pin to help raise awareness that colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable, and beatable," reads the paper connected to the pin. "The Blue Star represents the memory of people whose lives have been lost to the disease and the hope for a future free of colorectal cancer. If you are 50 or older, the American Cancer Society recommends that you talk to your doctor about getting screened. Talk to your doctor sooner if you have a family history of the disease or other condition that puts you at increased risk."
It was noted that West Virginia is number one in colon cancer diagnoses, and checkups and early treatments can help.
"Our focus is trying to get awareness out there," Hathaway said. "We want folks to talk to their family members who are eligible for getting colon cancer screenings and encourage them to speak to their doctors. I want each of you tonight to at least speak to one member of your family about getting that screening.
"Our mission is to educate on early detection and prevention, and we also have a multitude of services that we are able to provide in addition to the research we do worldwide. These are the things that donations do."
The committee saw to open positions on their roster. They appointed Committee Member Gwen Davies to serve as the Fundraising/Recognition Chair, have a person in mind for the Logistics Chair, and are still looking to fill the Mission Delivery/Advocacy Chair. Committee Members Toni VanCamp, Katrina Byers, and Hagerty agreed to assist with logistics, which includes onsite orchestration for events.
The committee received a Team Captain Meeting Playbook and Team Kickoff Playbook.
"These playbooks are new," said Hathaway. "Over the past years there have been different, huge guidebooks. What we're starting to do is give you guys resources in a consolidated format. The ones we handed out tonight happen to be on our team meetings coming up."
They discussed setting a date for a dinner at the Elks Lodge building in Sistersville. Boyd mentioned that the Wells Inn would probably furnish food for that event.
Other possibilities discussed included: a fishing tournament either at Conaway Lake or along the Ohio River in Sistersville, church softball tournament, getting local bands to volunteer, using beads to mark laps at the relay event, and putting together an events schedule.
The committee noted that Carman Harman is secured as the disc jockey for the main relay event, which will take place on May 31 at the Tyler Consolidated High School Stadium: check-in opens for Survivors and Teams at 5 p.m.; Survivor Reception begins at 6 p.m.; Opening Ceremony begins at 7 p.m.; Luminaria Ceremony at 9:30 p.m.; and Closing Ceremony at 1 a.m.
For more information about the ACS and Relay For Life (RFL) events, contact RFL Specialist Carmen Hathaway by calling 304-422-1472 or messaging Carmen.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org at any time for cancer information and support.
The RFL Committee stressed that anybody can get involved and urged members of the public to join the cause.
The Tyler County RFL Facebook page is www.facebook.com/pages/Relay-For-Life-of-Tyler-County-WV.