Ford City Relay for Life seeks quarters
Members of one Ford City Relay for Life team are giving new meaning to the quarter-mile relay.
The K.T. Click team wants visitors and participants of this year's American Cancer Society's annual 24-hour relay to lay their quarters in a line end to end around the quarter-mile Ford City High School Athletic Field track on Neale Avenue during the local two-day event this Saturday and Sunday.
If they can finish the relay of quarters, about 16,000 of them, it could raise as much as $4,000 for the team, with the money to go to cancer treatment and research.
"Everyone can be a part of the relay just by putting down their quarters on the track," said K.T Click team member Linda Hutchinson, an ACMH Hospital cancer center registered nurse from Kittanning Township and a co-chairperson for the Ford City Relay for Life. "It's a novelty. We want to see if we can interest enough people to do it and get the track filled all the way around."
The K.T. Click team, a group of moms whose kids went to Kittanning Township Elementary School together and is sponsored by TJS Mining, is one of 50 local teams entered this year in the 12th annual relay in Ford City. Last year, 55 teams participated in the relay.
The local effort is part of Relay for Life, a nationwide event of the American Cancer Society. The society's mission is to eliminate cancer as a major health problem around the world.
All of the teams working for donations are required to keep a member walking or running on the track at all times during the 24 hours of the relay event.
The relay gets under way at 10 a.m. Saturday and ends at 10 a.m. Sunday
Race officials say the stars are the community's survivors in the "Celebration of Survivors" ceremony at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Judy Walter, a registered nurse at the cancer center at ACMH Hospital, is a co-chairperson for the Ford City Relay for Life and a member of the Dr. Kathy Selvaggi-sponsored Barracudas team from the hospital.
"For me the interest in the relay is that in taking care of patients with cancer, you just want to do something to help," Walter said. "You want to get involved because you don't want to see others go through it. For so many people, it's a healthy way to cope with cancer."
Walter said the Ford City Relay for Life raised $620,000 last year, the highest amount ever for the organization, and hopes to reach a goal of more than $600,000 again this year.
"Our community is outstanding in its support of the relay," Walter said. "We're seeing good results from the efforts nationwide, We're seeing more cures."
One of the more successful teams in the Ford City Relay for Life has been Rosebud Mining's Rosebud Miners which was honored as the first group in the nation to surpass the $1 million mark to benefit the American Cancer Society.
K.T Click is not the only team to come up with creative ways to raise money for the cause.
Teams do fundraising through dunking booths, motorcycle runs, bingo, dog walks, car washes, dinners, craft shows and bake, candy and yard sales, to name a few.
Another of the more unusual fundraisers is cow pie bingo done by the Barracudas.
The team sells tickets with numbers corresponding to grids on a field at the local horse park.
They let loose a cow and whatever number the cow makes its deposit on, that's the winner.
Walter said the group has raised as much as $20,000 playing the game.
"People line up all around to watch their number come up," Walter said. "They coax and try to bribe the cow to come their way. The cow goes where it wants to. It's something you can't predict."