The Pickerington Relay for Life, held June 21 and 22 at Pickerington High School North, raised a total of $65,214 for the American Cancer Society.

The Pickerington Relay for Life, held June 21 and 22 at Pickerington High School North, raised a total of $65,214 for the American Cancer Society.

Although the goal for the event was to raise $79,000, organizers said the relay was a success.

"It's not disappointing at all," Cancer Society spokesman Alex Toomey said. "The town of Pickerington really came together despite some inclement weather."

Teams have until Aug. 31 to finish collecting donations and several have fundraisers planned for future dates, Toomey said.

"I'm still positive," he said. "People seemed very enthusiastic after the event to keep on fundraising through August."

For more information on the local Relay for Life or to donate, go to www.pickrelay.org.

The Violet Township Fire Department has received permission to spend $12,400 to upgrade some of its rescue equipment.

Township trustees last week approved the purchase of new hydraulic shears, used to help free people from vehicles following an accident.

Fire Chief Kenn Taylor told the trustees that new, more advanced materials have made cars safer over the years. Those same materials, he said, are also harder to cut through.

The new shears, Taylor said, have 231,000 pounds of cutting force. The department's current shears were purchased eight years ago and were considered top-of-the-line at the time. They have 90,000 pounds of cutting force, he said.

Also last week, trustees approved the promotion of several volunteer firefighters to part-time status. They are Eric Taft, Anthony Traster, Adam Lake, Shawn Wallace, Brandon Assmann and Chad Smith.

A number of free events are scheduled to help the Pickerington and Violet Township communities celebrate during the Independence Day weekend.

On July 4, the Pickerington Parks and Recreation Department will host "Blast from the Past" at Victory Park.

The park will open at 4 p.m. with live music, concessions, rides and games. At 6 p.m., the city's annual holiday parade will step off. Following the parade, opening ceremonies will be held at the park at 7:30 p.m.

Live music, featuring headliner Larry Lee and Back in the Day, will take place on the park's main stage from 8:20 to 11 p.m. Fireworks are scheduled for 10 p.m.

Also starting at 4 p.m. on July 4 is the Olde Pickerington Village Business Association Shoppe Hop.

On July 5 and 6, the Violet Township Bicentennial Commission will host Heritage Days, starting at noon in Victory Park.

The free event features a period encampment, antique farm equipment, artisans, vendors, hayrides, contests and games.

Both evenings will be capped off by free outdoor concerts at 7 p.m. Enchanted will perform classic rock on July 5 and Delyn Christian and the Fret Shop Band will perform original music and cover rock songs on July 6.