Even before the Relay For Life event gets underway Friday and Saturday, June 7-8, ABC 4 Maddy has set a fund-raising record.
Amanda Bird, Relay For Life co-chair, said ABC 4 Maddy (“Archbold Blue Streaks Care for Maddy”) has raised about $27,000 since September 2012.
Bird said last year, the team raised about $25,000, which was another record.
Relay For Life is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, held annually at the Fulton County Fairgrounds.
Bird said the event “brings together people who have been affected by cancer directly or indirectly.
“It allows us to celebrate those who are with us, remember the ones we’ve lost, and fight back against cancer.”
Money raised by the Relay event goes to the ACS to fund research. A small portion is held back to cover event expenses.
Last year, Relay For Life raised about $155,000. This year, the goal is $160,000.
Preparations are going well.
“We’re ahead of where we normally are,” she said.
Teams from throughout the county take pledges for members to walk around the midway during the 18-hour event, which starts at 6 pm, Friday.
There are several other activities, ranging from food stands to a book sale, but perhaps the highlight of Friday night is the Miss Relay competition, which Bird described as a beauty pageant for men dressed as women.
“Those guys have major guts to do some of that stuff,” Bird said.
ABC 4 Maddy
Madison “Maddy” Lambert, daughter of Russ and Dorothy, Archbold, was first diagnosed with leukemia in 2009.
The team was originally formed in 2011 at the request of her parents, who receive no direct financial benefit from the group.
Maddy attended Relay events, watching the 2012 Miss Relay show from a wheelchair. She died in January.
Deb Buehrer, a co-chair, said ABC 4 Maddy has conducted a number of fundraisers. They sold 1,200 Maddy memorial T-shirts, held a ladies night out event April 22 that raised close to $10,000, and earned around $5,000 from a baked potato dinner.
The Archbold Middle School student council has raised funds for the team, and local companies have made donations.
Buehrer said Relay For Life classifies a team’s fundraising by setting levels named after jewels.
Currently, the group has reached the emerald level for donations over $25,000.
But with the actual Relay event this weekend and opportunities to raise money until September, Buehrer said Dorothy Lambert is adamant; ABC 4 Maddy will reach the topaz level– donations of $35,000 or more.
Buehrer said ABC 4 Maddy has enjoyed tremendous support from the local schools and the community.
She said this year will be tough without Maddy, but Buehrer said the team is doing this for “all the other Maddys out there.”
That, and, “We want to make Maddy proud.”–David Pugh