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BLUFFTON — The purple shoes hanging from the eaves of downtown businesses along Bluffton’s Main Street can only mean one thing: Relay for Hope is near.
The fundraiser to benefit the American Cancer Society will be held from 4:30 p.m. to midnight Friday at Bluffton Family Recreation, 215 Snider Road. This year’s theme is “Hope, Love, Believe, Walk for a Cure.”
Teams walk to raise money and support for the cancer society. Activities will include a survivor dinner and lap, team and individual laps, luminarias and a memory service, food, music, games and entertainment.
A pie contest and auction and silent auction also return this year, organized by members of Trinity Lutheran Church, Jenera.
The first Relay for Life pie auction was held in 2006. Entries from the public are judged, with prizes awarded to the top three. The rest of the competitors receive a participation prize, said Esther Spaeth, who oversees the pie competition.
She said all kinds of pies are represented in the contest.
According to the rules, the pie must be completely homemade, including the crust.
Spaeth said there are usually 25 pies in the contest, and everyone is welcome to come, bid, and take home a homemade pie. Judging is held at 6:45 p.m., and the auction takes place at 7:30.
The youngest baker this year is 9.
The most profitable pie ever — a pecan pie — went for $200. And last year’s auction raised a record $2,014.
There is a $20 minimum bid for each pie.
Following the event, the recipes are collected and put together in a cookbook which also serves as a relay fundraiser.
Cookbooks from former years will be available for a donation at this year’s relay.
A meal is provided for survivors at 5 p.m., followed by the opening ceremonies at 6:15.
A pork chop dinner will be served, and there will also be a booth with sandwiches, chips and drinks. The silent auction will offer bidders more than 100 items ranging from gift cards and toys to homemade items.
The luminaria service begins at 9 p.m. and lasts about an hour. Area firemen do a lap in full turnout gear at 10 p.m., and a 5K Glow Run begins at 10:30. Registration starts at 9:30 and the fee is $25, with all proceeds going to Bluffton Relay for Hope.
The public can come out and register for the walk Friday, as can participants for the Glow Run. Beginning at 2 p.m., luminarias can be purchased for $5 to remember those who have died or celebrate a survivor.
More information and registration forms are available by contacting Lynda Best at 419-296-2790 or firstname.lastname@example.org, stopping at the Village Cut & Curl at 212 Cherry St. in Bluffton, or checking the Facebook page: Bluffton Area Relay for Life-Ohio.
Relay for Hope schedule:
2-8:30 p.m. — Luminarias available for purchase at tent along BFR sidewalk
4:30-5:30 p.m. — Entertainment by Katie Hohenbrink and Sheila Hausken
4:30-6:30 p.m. — Drive-thru or dine-in lasagna meal
5 p.m. — Survivors’ meal
5-9:30 p.m. — Silent auction inside BFR by Trinity Lutheran Church, Jenera
5:30 p.m. — National anthem by Courtney McLaughlin
6:15 p.m. — Presentation of colors by Ed Amstutz and the color guard; opening remarks; survivor, caregiver and team laps
6:30-7 p.m. — Findlay Cloggers
6:30 p.m. — Concession stand inside BFR by Trinity Lutheran Church
6:45 p.m. — Pie judging inside BFR
7:30 p.m. — Pie auction
7:30-8:30 p.m. — Jon Butler with ’50s and ’60s music.
8 p.m. — Quarter lap
8-9 p.m. — Music
9 p.m. — Luminaria service
9:30 p.m. — Memory lap in silence; registration begins for 5K Glow Run at table at BFR front doors
10 p.m. — End of silent auction; fireman’s lap
10:30 p.m. — 5K Glow Run
11 p.m. — Music by Nick Nowlan
Midnight — Pizza inside BFR; cleanup and closing ceremony
The Mark Gillfillan 5K memorial run/walk will be held at 7 p.m. June 22 at Riverdale Schools. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m.
Preregistration with a T-shirt is $15, or $12 without a shirt. All race -day registrations are $20. There will also be a 1-mile memorial walk and a kids’ quarter-mile fun run. Early registration must be received by Friday. All proceeds will benefit the Mark Gillfillan Scholarship Fund.
Forms are available at http://www.5k4mark.com/. Call Christa Gillfillan at 419-722-8020 with questions.
Boy Scout Troop 322 will host a Harlan’s chicken barbecue fundraiser from 4:30-7 p.m. June 23 at Stonebridge Church, 2111 Stonehedge Drive.
Tickets are $10 each and may be purchased in advance by contacting Amber Greeno at 419-306-1498 or from any Scout from Troop 322. Proceeds will directly benefit the Scouts by continuing to provide learning opportunities through campouts and new experiences.