Banner signs have been sprawled neatly. Residents are chatting and fundraising. And, donations are being collected. The community is uniting, in support of the American Cancer Society, for its annual fun-filled, heart-warming event, Relay For Life of Peters Township.
This year's theme? Board games!
Opening ceremonies, with entertainment and activities, start at noon on Saturday, May 14, with the survivor registration beginning at 6:30 p.m. and the reception at 7 p.m. The open-to-the-public relay lasts through Sunday morning, with a pancake breakfast at 6 a.m.—all festivities happening on the Peters Township High School track.
The McMurray Elementary band, "No Tune Left Behind," will be playing at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Event co-chairs Phil Hobbs and Tom Ultsch, and American Cancer Society volunteer coordinator Margie Smith, have been working diligently to prepare.
A survivor ceremony is one of the highlights, they said. Cancer survivors and their caregivers are invited to walk a special-ceremony lap and enjoy refreshments at 8 p.m. Saturday. Candles will circle the track in luminaria bags inscripted with names, remembering those who lost their lives to cancer and honoring those who've survived, during the luminaria ceremony commencing at 9 p.m.
Ultsch's wife, Lyn, first brought the idea of Relay For Life to Peters seven years ago where the donations goal was approximately set at $22,000. This year, the co-chairs are aiming for $90,000. Last year, $84,000 was collected.
"It started modestly and has grown considerably," said Hobbs. "We're still looking for more business participation."
As of last week, 23 teams are registered to participate in the 20-hour festivities. Most teams take two-hour shifts, Smith said.
"Peters Township is the best for always keeping someone from the team on the track at all times," she said. "Booths are set up with games and activities. It's similar to community day."
Teams register with a commitment donation of $100, according to a release. This provides the team a campsite, along with a team sign.
A key phrase for the event is "Celebrate, remember, fight back."
Ultsch has been a Peters resident for 22 years, and Hobbs for 15 years.