The Village People Relay For Life Team, consisting of Canal Winchester Mayor Michael Ebert, members of city council and city staff members, will be serving up meals May 9 in the fight against cancer.

The Village People Relay For Life Team, consisting of Canal Winchester Mayor Michael Ebert, members of city council and city staff members, will be serving up meals May 9 in the fight against cancer.

From 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. team members will be the wait staff at a fundraiser at Shade on the Canal Restaurant, 19 S. High St. in downtown Canal Winchester.

Ebert said the event has become an annual tradition.

"This is our fourth one. The Village People, which is what we call our team, started the Relay For Life dinner at Shade's. My office and everybody that works for the city, including city council, serves everybody that comes to dinner to eat," Ebert said.

While the team will garner a nominal amount of funding through the sale of the meals, Ebert said the generous tips from patrons that will provide the bulk of money that is raised.

"Where we really make our money is on tips," he said. "Just like waitresses don't get any money for the actual meal, we're getting little from the meal itself, not enough to make anything."

Ebert added that tip amounts in the past have ranged from "a few bucks to a hundred."

"The more hundreds we get, the better. It all goes to the Relay For Life," he said.

Ebert said the cost for the meal is $10 plus tip for adults and $5 plus tip for children.

This year's local Relay for Life will be held June 8 and 9 at Canal Winchester High School. It is a combined effort involving teams from both Canal Winchester and Groveport.

The two communities are joining together to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer and pay tribute to those who have lost their lives to cancer. The event raises both awareness and funds to help fight the disease.

Ebert said this year's fundraiser at Shade on the Canal takes on added significance in light of the recent death of Kris Sims, whom Ebert credits with starting Relay for Life in Canal Winchester. Kris, the wife of City Construction Services Administrator Bill Sims, succumbed to her own battle with cancer in March.

"We want to make this year is really special," Ebert said. "Kris actually started the Relay for Life event in Canal Winchester six years ago. We're dedicating it to her memory."

Bill Sims expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support from the Canal Winchester community.

"Myself and my family are grateful that the Relay For Life is remembering Kris this year," he said. "The Relay For Life and fundraising for cancer research was very important for Kris; she had been doing it since 1993, long before she had cancer herself."

Sims said he looks forward to the Village People team dinner.

"That's a fun event," he said. "We usually do have a good turnout. I think it's fantastic that members of council and the mayor participate.

"We're happy and encouraged that the Relay For Life is continuing on with such strong community support," he added. "The people in Canal Winchester are really amazing. A lot of people have been affected by cancer in Canal Winchester and the Relay For Life is a great outlet and opportunity for them to make a difference."