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Taking strides towards health, hope and finding a cure

Yorkville hosts the 3rd annual Relay for Life Spring 5-K

March 11, 2012
By KIM LOCCISANO - Staff Writer ( , Times Leader

YORKVILLE - The morning of Saturday, March 17, in the heart of the Village of Yorkville, runners, walkers and volunteers of all ages and fitness levels will be part of the 3rd Annual Relay For Life Spring 5-K Race to help generate funds toward the overall goal of the Buckeye Relay for Life on June 1 - 2 at Buckeye Local High School.

Registration for the 5-K will be held from 7:30 a.m. until 8:45 a.m. The race begins at 9 a.m.

Registration for the Fun Run will be held from 7:30 a.m. until 8:15 a.m. The race will begin at 8:30 a.m. It is open to children age 12 and under.

Article Photos

Walkers and runners take off at the start of last year’s Relay for Life Spring 5-K in Yorkville.

Co-chairs of the 3rd Annual Relay for Life Spring 5K are Diane McCracken and Merri Matthews.

Co-chairs of the 8th Annual Buckeye Relay for Life - the original fund raising event from which the Spring 5-K Run and Walk Race grew - are Carol Webb and Jenny Aubrey.

Monies raised through the Spring 5-K Walk and Run will ultimately go toward meeting the overall goal of the parent fund raising effort, the 8th Annual Buckeye Relay for Life to be held in June.

The financial goal set for the entire year's fund raising, which includes the monies raised through the 5-K on March 17 in Yorkville and the 2-day Relay in June, has been set at $59,000 by organizers with the American Cancer Society.

Unfortunately, last year was the first time the annual fund raising effort had not generated monies enough to meet the goal set for it by American Cancer Society organizers.

"But we have been working even harder this year," reflected Webb. She has a personal connection to the ongoing fight against cancer, and she is fueled by desire to defeat a disease which has been ravaging her daughter's body for some years now, as she has been fighting a very rare form of cancer.

When it comes to the fight against cancer, it's always personal.

The Spring 5-K event was originally founded as one of the fund raising efforts of the team Webb and Aubrey head for the Buckeye Relay for Life, "Team Zippy."

Thanks to the popularity of the original Spring 5-K event, of running and walking club organizations across the region, and the standing of the March 17 activity's organizers McCracken and Matthews in those groups, and of the increasing popularity of the nationwide effort to foster more active lifestyle habits for American families, the March event has continued expanding.

Registration forms for the 3rd Annual Spring Relay for Life 5-K Run/Walk are available in all Buckeye Local School District school offices, at the Central Office in Dillonvale and at many local businesses.

The major part of the 3.1 miles of the March 17 event course follows the Ohio River.

Additional information about the St. Patrick's Day race is available by calling McCracken at 740 296-4008 or by sending her an email at

Adding to the atmosphere supporting individual and family participation in healthy lifestyles activities such as running or walking, a Fun Run for children 12 and under will be held. Early registration for the Fun Run is $3; after March 12 the fee is $5.

Early registration for the Run/Walk is $15; however, after March 12 the registration fee is $18.

Registrations for the Spring 5-K or the related Fun Run will be accepted until 8:45 a.m., according to McCracken.

More information and online registration can be accessed through or at

The Spring 5-K event course begins at 139 Market Street in Yorkville, travels south on Market Street, turns east onto Deep Run Road, north onto old Route 7, turns around and comes back to the start area.

"A target group of registered runners and walkers numbering between 300 and 400 for the Spring 5-K would really help make sure we are able to generate an amount of money to be of real help toward meeting the overall goal of the project," offered McCracken.

There are approximately 130 registered runners or walkers signed up for the event currently, shared McCracken earlier this month.

"Awards will be given to the top three male and female overall in both Run and Walk categories and to the top three male and female in each age group," said McCracken.

"The post race celebration will consist of pizza, homemade cookies and also drinks. It will also include the fun of a Chinese auction, with each participant being given two free chances to win. Additional tickets for the auction can be purchased at $1 each or at a fee of $5 for six tickets," said McCracken.

"Gas cards will be included in the assortment of door prizes being made available to participants," she added.

The race in Yorkville is not only a fund raiser for the overall benefit of the Buckeye Relay for Life, but offers participants the chance to start their competitive series off on a local and positive note, as it now serves as one of the events in the second season slate of the Grand Prix Series: "Taking Strides Toward Better Health."

The series came about as a result of a mutual effort by The Health Plan and the Ohio Valley Runners' and Walkers' Club.

The Grand Prix Series is now in its second season and has approximately 30 races on its calendar to offer potential participants avenues through which they can connect to healthier lifestyles information throughout the Ohio Valley.

The "Taking Strides Toward Better Health" Grand Prix Race Series provides extra incentive for all ages and abilities to run or walk in a community race. By registering for the series, planners encourage and recognize participation and performance in local racing through a points system.

Runners and walkers will accumulate points for every 5K they complete in the participation category. Once they accumulate 10 points, they are automatically eligible for the 1st Annual "Taking Strides Toward Better Health" Grand Prix Race Series banquet.

The 8th annual Buckeye Relay For Life overnight activity will take place at Buckeye Local High School on June 1 and 2. Activities begin at 6 p.m. on June 1 with the Cancer Survivor Lap and continue until noon on June 2.

"Hope shines its brightest during the Luminaria Ceremony at the Relay. Held after dark, family and friends gather around the candlelit track to remember those who have lost their battle with cancer and honor those who have or are battling cancer. Luminaria light the way for hope, progress and answers. They will stay lit throughout the evening, reminding us that hope lives among us. If you would like to participate in the Luminaria Ceremony, they can be purchased from any team member or by contacting me at 740-769-7395," shared Webb.

Another fund raising event being organized to help raise monies for the June relay goal is a card party at Buckeye Local High School on Thursday, April 5, which is being organized by the Family Ties Relay for Life Team. Jennifer Brown can be contacted at 740 391-3244 to purchase tickets or for more information.

Additionally, a Longaberger Basket Bingo event will be held Sunday, April 15 at Buckeye Local High School. Doors will open at noon, with bingo starting at1 p.m. Tickets are $20 if purchased in advance or $25 at the door. Sixteen baskets and numerous door prizes will be awarded at this event. For tickets, contact any Relay Team member or call Carol Webb at 769-7395 or 546-4005.

The West Elementary Team known as "West Wild Things" is planning a big event for Sunday, April 29, according to Webb. Details of the event have not yet been announced.

"The 18 hours of Relay represent a day in the life of a cancer patient," shared Webb. "The Relay For Life goals this year are raise $59,000; have 20 teams participate; and have 70 cancer survivors register."

Anyone interested in forming a team for the June event can contact American Cancer Society Representative and Dillonvale resident Bethani Barsch at 888-227-6446 ext. 2212.

Additional information about any of these activities can be accessed by contacting Webb at; Aubrey at; McCracken at or by calling 740-296-4008; or Matthews at or by calling 740-632-1694.



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