The new leader of this year's Dublin Relay For Life is hoping to use his networking skills to draw more participants to the June fundraiser.

The new leader of this year's Dublin Relay For Life is hoping to use his networking skills to draw more participants to the June fundraiser.

Tim Gaffney, the new chair of the American Cancer Society fundraiser, has never attended a Relay For Life, but he has lots of ideas for the June 11 and 12 event at Dublin Coffman High School.

Gaffney got involved with the Dublin Relay For Life after meeting ACS staff member Amber Miller at a networking event.

"I've actually had folks in my family touched by cancer and I met Amber at a networking event and we talked about relay," he said. "She asked me if I wanted to volunteer and one thing led to another and I became the chairperson."

Gaffney returned to Dublin three years ago after living in Phoenix, Ariz., but graduated from the Ohio State University and lived in Dublin for 12 years before business took him out of town.

The new relay chair is a business consultant and hopes to bring skills from his day job to his new volunteer position.

"I work a lot. But I like it. I'm a business consultant," Gaffney said. "I do consulting to get businesses to think differently because they have to. If you run around town with the same business plan you've had for three or four years, you're not going to be very successful."

Dublin's business community could be used as a source of volunteers for relay, Gaffney said.

"My experience is in networking in the business community and I hope to utilize those strengths to bring new volunteers to the event as well as making sure existing volunteers are still engaged," he said.

Visions for this year's Relay For Life are ever-changing, but Gaffney said he wants to focus on getting the business community involved and recognizing cancer survivors.

"It's a living vision. It changes almost daily, but my vision is to make it a featured event and a marquee event of Franklin County. I believe Dublin can have the best relay in central Ohio," he said.

Along with a new location for the 2011 Dublin Relay For Life, Gaffney said people can expect a few other surprises.

"Logistically there won't be a lot of changes, but there will be a lot of new things. It's going to be off the wall and we want to make it a lot of fun for the teams who spend the night at the school," he said. "We're definitely going to get more community involvement with a heavy focus on the business community. I didn't see a lot of business-support teams that participated last year."

Despite rumors, Gaffney said he's working to keep the Blarney Hop relay fundraiser that follows Dublin's St. Patrick's Day parade.

"The Blarney Hop is not dead. I'm going to make every effort to keep that on track for the community and for relay," he said. "It's building momentum. It's a good event for the community."

But recruiting teams and volunteers is also a major responsibility for the new relay chair. Gaffney said volunteers meet monthly at the Dublin Community Recreation Center and anyone interested in volunteering or forming a team can stop by.

The group will meet in Tallas 3 Feb. 8 at the recreation center. Organizational meetings are held at 6 p.m. and team meetings will follow at 7.

The ACS on Frantz Road is also hosting a business afterhours networking event for the Dublin Chamber of Commerce from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Feb. 15.

Fundraising for relay has also begun with the annual daffodil sale; Gaffney said orders are due Feb. 25 and pickup is the week of March 13.

A bunch of daffodils is $10, a bunch with a teddy bear is $25 and a potted bunch is $12.

For more information, or to place an order, e-mail Gaffney at ttgaff71@aol.com.

For more information on the Dublin Relay For Life, look online at relayforlife.org/Dublin.

jnoblit@thisweeknews.com

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