Help sponsor more birthdays

American Cancer Society supporters will be wishing for many happy birthdays May 16 at Tiffin’s annual Relay For Life event at Hedges-Boyer Park.

As the “Official Sponsor of Birthdays,” ACS’s Tiffin Relay teams plan to gather for the event to celebrate cancer survivors, victims, families and caregivers, and continue to raise awareness and money to help strengthen the fight against cancer.

Deb Hilborn, specialist at ACS, said 41 teams will be at Relay For Life this year, with a total of 503 participants. That number, she said, includes eight new teams, and all are from the Tiffin area.

The Tiffin Relay For Life annual goal for the fiscal year, Hilborn said, is $128,000, and while the winter weather delayed some team fundraisers and events, teams are “pushing forward.”

Tiffin’s Relay, said Hilborn, has been moved this year from Mother’s Day weekend to May 16, a decision made at the request of Relay teams. The event still is to take place at Hedges-Boyer Park, and is to begin at 6 p.m. with an opening ceremony to honor survivors and introduce Relay teams.

A survivors/caregivers lap will follow, she said, and the event’s festivities will kick off when that lap is completed.

Participants and visitors will find food, music, family and kids’ activities, and inflatables at Relay For Life, Hilborn said, and the Washboard Band will play at 7 p.m.

In addition, a dunk tank will be a fun feature this year, she said, and will include the chance to dunk Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz. Other local officials may also participate, she said.

Two auctions also will take place during the Relay, Hilborn said, and include a Chair-ity Auction and a silent auction.

The Chair-ity Auction, she said, features the auction of kitchen/house chairs which have been decorated by local Relay teams. The chairs, she said, now are located at different locations around Tiffin for bidders and others to see.

The silent auction will consist of gift baskets and other items donated by Relay teams, she said.

Relay For Life has not hosted an auction “in quite a long time,” Hilborn said.

Luminaria will be for sale at the event from 5-9:30 p.m., and range in price from $10 to a $25 gold star bag. A luminaria ceremony is to take place at 10 p.m. Friday to honor and remember loved ones. That ceremony would include lighted luminaries placed around the walking path at the park, as well as a reading that reflects the meaning of the word “hope” to those closest to cancer.

A reception for survivors is planned for 5 p.m.

Hilborn said the entrance from Coe Street will be closed, with no exceptions, beginning at 4 p.m. Friday, and shuttle service will be offered for visitors from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

Following the Relay, Hilborn said, other events are planned for upcoming months, and donations can be made to teams through Aug. 31.

A Relay fundraiser is to take place June 8 at Jolly’s, 1630 W. Market St., Hilborn said, and feature Relay For Life participants and personnel working in the kitchen and as car-hops, and the organization also will auction off a lottery ticket tree at Hedges Boyer July 4.

An August event is in the planning stage, she said.