Newton County Relay For Life organizers are gearing up for the Relay season with a kickoff event planned for 6 p.m. Monday, at the Lampo Building.

The public is invited to attend the free event. No RSVPs are required.

“This is to officially mark the start of our Relay and is intended to inform the community on what Relay is and why we do it,” Newton County Relay For Life chairperson Kelly Emanuel said. “We also announce the important information for the year, dates for meetings, theme, etc.”

There will be food and door prizes, while tables will be set up for people to gather information about the Relay. Teams can turn in any money they have received for this year’s Relay event. Guest speaker is Robbie Prine, an American Cancer Society (ACS) Hero of Hope.

Emanuel explained this year’s theme.

“This year’s theme we adopted from the Divisional Theme, Dream Big, Hope Big, Relay Big,” she said. “We thought that was a great theme while Live, Love, Laugh is so popular and since we had a record breaking year last year. Like any other business or charity, your goal is always to raise more funds, so we want to Relay BIG this year.”

For those who may have never been involved with Relay either by participating in a team or helping out, this kickoff will be a great asset.

“The advantages of attending are to get a little education on what the American Cancer Society does with our money raised, the pertinent information on meetings and where to go and some guidelines and guidance for new teams who are not sure what to expect,” she said. “Educating the community and bringing cancer awareness to the forefront is always a goal.”

This year’s monetary goal is to raise $80,000. Last year, the Relay raised $100,022, a record for Newton County.

“We would really love to have a good showing from the community,” Emanuel said.

Relay For Life is a fun-filled, overnight event. Teams of eight to 15 members gather with tents and sleeping bags to participate in the largest fundraising walk in the nation. Relay For Life unites friends, families, businesses, hospitals, schools and churches ... people from all walks of life. Teams seek sponsorship prior to the Relay, all with the goal of supporting a cure for cancer.