BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Superheros will be descending on Richmond Stadium on Sept. 14, for the six-hour 21st annual North Lee County Relay for Life.
Agents of Hope is this year’s theme for the relay, which will take place from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Fort Madison High School track at Richmond Stadium.
Relay Chair Angie Budnik said this year’s goal is to raise $65,000 and have 25 teams. Right now 16 teams have registered, but Budnik said there is still plenty of time to get a team signed up for the event. Those interested in forming a team can do so by visiting the event website at http://www.RelayForLife.org/NorthLeeCountyIA and clicking on “Join a Relay” and then select North Lee County Relay For Life.
The event is a community event, and Budnik said you don’t have to be on a team to participate.
“You don’t have to be part of a team, you don’t have to come and set up a site on the field to participate,” she said. “We just encourage people to come out and have some dinner and walk a couple laps. We just want to have people come out and spend some time with us and celebrate our survivors.”
The Isaac Walton League of Fort Madison will be providing BBQ pulled pork sandwiches on site from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. And pizza from Brad’s Pad and Pizza Garden in West Point and Casey’s in Fort Madison will be being delivered at around 10 p.m. Kelly’s Cakes and Hall’s Ice Cream will be providing desserts.
Budnik said a couple of the more notable events at the Relay is the luminaria and survivor receptions.
Luminaries can be purchased by filling out the form below in memory and support of someone who has battled cancer. Individuals can also submit a photo to be a part of slide show presentation during the ceremony. Luminaries will be sold the night of the event until 7 p.m.
The Survivor’s Reception is open to any cancer survivors.
“We hold that every year and it’s a big piece of this,” Budnik said. “We send out invitations to the cancer survivors on our mailing list, but any cancer survivor is welcome to attend. This is just a great opportunity to recognize and celebrate them.”
The North Lee County Relay was actually started by the Fort Madison High School students in 1998 when the relays were just getting going. Budnik said that’s why the Fort Madison relay is held in the fall.
“When these relays started becoming a thing, the high school student body took it under their wing,” Budnik said. “That’s why when most people are doing their relays in the summer, we do ours in the fall.”
The North Lee County Relay is separate from the South Lee County event and all money’s go directly to the American Cancer Society.
Budnik said she hopes to see people in superhero costumes because everyone that comes out is considered a hero.
“We always have one team that dresses up so this will be fun,” she said.
For those walking the track at anytime during the evening, their will be raffle baskets with some of the teams, games, and a 50/50 raffle which Budnik said is already up to $1,134.
“This summer we had a Roving Rally to generate funds for the 50/50 so whoever wins that will get a nice chunk of cash. We’ll continue to sell tickets to that drawing that night and we’ve asked the teams to try and put together a donation basket so people will be able to buy raffle tickets at the registration table for those prizes as well. We’ll draw for the winners of those prizes and the 50/50 during the closing ceremony,” Budnik said.
She said North Lee County Relay for Life is recognized for the overwhelming corporate support they get for each event.
“One thing that makes our event unique is the corporate support we get,” she said. “Compared to other relays or representative says we kind of blow it out of the water from that standpoint.”