‘Relay for Life’ event is tomorrow night at Ogle Park


After more than a decade of helping raise money to help in the fight against cancer, the Switzerland County ‘Relay for Life’ event has seen its share of struggles this year, but that doesn’t mean that the determination of will of those organizing the event has diminished.

The event this year will begin tomorrow (Friday) night in the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park, and it expected to continue through the night, wrapping up on Saturday morning.

This year’s theme is “Super Heroes”.

There are still plenty of events and activities going on throughout the evening, and everyone is invited to come down and participate and donate to a great cause – even if you aren’t on a team.

Patty Chase and Glenda Sullivan are great friends who have been active in the Switzerland County ‘Relay for Life’ since it began. Their team, “Florence and Friends”, is a mainstay at the event; and both are strong members of the organizing board.

This year, however, the group coordinating the event has had to take a different approach, as no one in the community volunteered to serve as the chairperson. With no one in charge, the organizing group has taken on individual pieces of the overall event, trusting that it will all come together tomorrow night in the park.

“It’s really been a lot different this year without a chairman,” Patty Chase said. “And the lady from the Cancer Society who’s helping us is from Columbus and she’s got a lot to do here and other places, so she’s stretched pretty thin, too. We still have a lot of teams, and we hope people come out and support us.”

The event will get underway tomorrow night with the annual Survivors Dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the high school. Coordinator Ruth Lohide reports that invitations have been sent; but that anyone who has battled cancer or who is currently battling cancer is welcome to attend.

If you did not receive an invitation and would like to be included on the survivors’ list, please call Ruth Lohide at 534-3002.

The Switzerland County Farm Bureau, Inc., organization is also very active in sponsoring the Survivors Dinner.

The official kickoff in the park will begin at approximately 6:30 p.m., with the first lap dedicated to cancer survivors and cancer warriors. They will then be joined by family members and caregivers.

Teams will then begin walking around the park square in a relay fashion, and will continue throughout the night.

The teams will also have campsites around the perimeter of the square, and will be offering food and games – all raising money to go towards cancer research.

“We’ll be selling homemade ice cream at our booth,” Glenda Sullivan said. “We’ve heard that others are selling hot dogs and popcorn and cotton candy and lots of other things. If people are hungry, they should be able to find something to eat down there.”

The annual auction will also be handled by the employees of MainSource Bank, as it has been in the past. Individuals or businesses who would like to donate an item for the auction can take it to the bank in Vevay; or call 427-2323 for more information.

Highlighting the night will be the luminary service, which will begin at dark, approximately 10 p.m.

Everyone has the opportunity to purchase a luminary candle in honor of someone battling cancer or who has overcome cancer; or in memory of someone who has passed away after fighting the disease.

Lit luminary buckets wrapped with a personal message will be lined up around the square, and after the lights of the park are turned off, the names of everyone who had a luminary purchased for them will be read.

Those wanting luminaries should contact a ‘Relay for Life’ team member; or they may also be purchased at the park tomorrow night.

Anyone having questions or who is wanting more information on how they can participate in this year’s ‘Relay for Life’ should contact Melissa Head at (812) 350-7611.


Battling cancer is a very personal thing for participants in the ‘Relay for Life’ event; and for Patty Chase and Glenda Sullivan.

“My husband, Red, had five members of his family die from cancer, and I’ve had five members of my family die from cancer,” Patty Chase said. “I am also a cancer survivor, so this is very personal to me. I want people to come out and help find a cure for this.”

“I’ve had members of my family pass away from cancer, too,” Glenda Sullivan said. “What we do is a lot of work, but it’s also important.”

The “Florence and Friends” team is a fixture at the Switzerland County ‘Relay for Life’. The team and its members have raised thousands of dollars over the years at the relay event; and have also shared the joys and sorrows as teammates, friends, and family members.

“Eddie Markland, Shirley Gregory, Donna Bowman, and Inky Jackson were all members of our team who have passed away from cancer,” Patty Chase said. “And on our team now, Chuck Pickett, Sharon Ballard, Bev Stoops, Cora Fox, Gladys Hunt, Frances Eversole, and myself have all had cancer; so there are faces on what we do, too.”


Currently there are 15 teams signed up for this year’s ‘Relay for Life’:

– Angela Grubbs team

– Cancer Fighting Christians

– Fishing Buddies

– Florence and Friends

– Friendship State Bank

– Java Bean Cafe

– Jeff-Craig Elementary

– Kiwanis Club of Vevay

– MainSource Bank

– Patriot Volunteer Fire Department and Auxiliary

– Rediscover

– Switzerland County Homemakers

– Strikers Bowl 3 C’s

– Team Cathy

– Team Sweet Feet

The goal for this year’s Switzerland County ‘Relay for Life’ is to raise $58,000 through donations and activities.

Even members of the community who are not part of an official team are urged to come to the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park, purchase some food; items at the auction; a luminary; and/or make a donation, with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.