Hampshire County Relay for Life is returning to tackle another season of battling cancer.

Relay organizers are holding a kickoff event at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, at the Health Department in Augusta. It will include refreshments and door prizes.

Speakers at the event include representatives from Hampshire Memorial Hospital, Valley Health, and Western Maryland Regional Health Systems.

The kick off event precedes months of events by the county groups as a whole and individual groups as fundraising efforts, each of which aim to meet this year’s overall goal – $60,000.

The events will culminate into the annual Survivor Dinner on Friday, June 14, and the main Walk for a Cure event, which will be held on Saturday, June 15.

This year the festivities at the main event will include an annual car show, games for kids, cakewalks, lots of food, and a luminary event to close out the evening.

Community members can participate in the event for free. All participants can either form a team or walk individually to honor family, friends, or others. Volunteers are also always needed and encouraged.

Last year, by the end of season’s fundraising, Relay for Life has raised $58,000, just $2,000 shy of their goal, which they’re maintaining this year.

“One in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will get cancer in their lifetime. Be a part of the research funding to find that cure,” said Patty Wygal, president of Hampshire County Relay for Life.

“Overall death rates have gone down 27 percent since 1990 and continue to decline – decreases that are due to improvements in early detection, treatments, and prevention that are only possible through ongoing research. Help us in our mission for a cure by getting involved.”

For more info, community members can contact Wygal at 304-676-2480 and eileen26704@yahoo.com. o

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