The event committee for the annual Boardman Relay for Life is busy this month preparing for the 21st annual event to be held May 16 and 17 at Boardman Center Middle School.
''Our goal this year is $200,000,'' said event chairperson Danielle Procopio.
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Ready to kick off another Boardman Relay for Life event from left are: event co-chair Chary Hively; chairperson Danielle Procopio; American Cancer Society staff partner Tasha Wells; and Boardman superintendent Frank Lazzeri.
She said last year the committee set a goal of $215,000, and while they came close, they were unable to meet it. Boardman Schools superintendent Frank Lazzeri said it was due to competition.
''Part of the problem is there are so many other Relay events that it takes away from each individual Relay,'' he said.
Along with the monetary goal, the committee has also set a goal of having 62 teams this year. As of April 15, 52 teams have registered and more are expected this month.
This year event has named May 17 as Family Fun Day. Procopio said there will be bounce-arounds for the children as well as a Big Truck display, where children can climb into the trucks and explore. To top off the day, a child cancer survivor will be the guest speaker.
Other speakers of interest will include colon cancer survivor Dick Weimer and caregiver Holly Watts, who lost her mother and both in-laws to cancer.
The committee hopes to top this year's goal and create an enjoyable experience, bringing to light those whose lives were lost as well as those who have survived. In looking back at 2013, Procopio said the one big achievement was the cancer study program.
According to Procopio, hundreds of candidates have signed up for a 20-year cancer study that tracks the lives of residents over 20 years to look for links that could be found in detecting cancer.
Looking back over the past 21 years of the Boardman Relay, the committee has seen more than $4 million raised to fight cancer and find a cure.