05/04/06 — Hospital's team starts early to raise funds to fight cancer

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Hospital's team starts early to raise funds to fight cancer

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on May 4, 2006 1:49 PM

To help raise money to find a cure for cancer, members of Wayne Memorial Hospital's Relay for Life team have dressed up as clowns, train engineers, 1950s waitresses and firemen.

The hospital has had a Relay team for 12 years, said Melody Hartman, this year's team captain. Mrs. Hartman has been on the team five years -- two of those as captain.

The team starts planning for each year's event in February.

"We have at least one fundraiser a week, and they're going on until the day of the Relay," she said.

Recently, team members got together on a stormy day to make and sell about 1,000 applejacks.

The team used 20 bags of flour, 20 gallons of apples and 15 gallons of oil.

Members of Princeton Church of God helped the team members make the applejacks. "We make pretty good on them," Mrs. Hartman said, "but we just have a really good time. It's a lot of fun making them."

The hospital Relay team has also had a lot of bake sales and barbecue lunches, sold a lot of hot dogs and conducted a lot of cake auctions to raise money for the Cancer Society.

New this year will be a purse auction. One of the hospital's employees is making the purses for the auction.

Last year, the team was the top money-raiser for the Relay with a total of $69,250. "We're headed that direction this year, too," said Mrs. Hartman. The goal is $65,000. This year's team has 79 members and 43 corporate sponsors.

The team has also won several campsite awards. Past campsite themes have included Curetown Clowns, All Aboard For A Cure and a 1950s-style diner.

Mrs. Hartman said this year's campsite theme will be "Wishing For A Cancer-Free Kingdom." It will have a Disney World atmosphere complete with a Cinderella castle.

The team uses the hospital's carpenters to build its campsites.

At its campsite at the Relay, team members will sell blue Relay T-shirts that state "It takes more than wishing for a cure ... it takes you." They will also sell mouse ears, Mickey Mouse glasses and glow-in-the-dark necklaces. They will do face painting and tattooing.

Mrs. Hartman said the hospital has a Relay team because "it just seems right that we do because we're helping patients and family members going through cancer.

"We have several people on our team who are cancer survivors. We have family of some team members who have cancer or who have passed away from cancer. So it makes it worthwhile for us to do this."