The American Cancer Society kicked off its 2011 Westerville Relay For Life event Jan. 24 at Westerville Central High School.

The American Cancer Society kicked off its 2011 Westerville Relay For Life event Jan. 24 at Westerville Central High School.

During the kickoff, the American Cancer Society announced that the community-selected theme for the event, which will be June 24 at Westerville Central, will be a birthday party.

"As the American Cancer Society, we are the official sponsor of birthdays, so this kind of goes with that," said Amanda Fannin, cancer society income development coordinator.

Leading up to June 24, Fannin said, volunteers will plan for how the birthday theme should take shape.

The cancer society is looking for volunteers for this year's relay to help plan and carryout things like fundraising, team recruitment, sponsorships, silent auctions, thank-yous and awards, Fannin said. The society also is looking for people to sit on the event's planning committee.

Volunteer commitments range from chairing committees to just serving as a general volunteer, Fannin said, giving people the opportunity to give whatever amount of time they have to the event.

"There's lot of different things that people can get involved in. ÉThey're welcome to come and help out with anything," Fannin said. "It's just a group of individuals who want to volunteer and give their time and are passionate about fighting back against cancer."

This year's relay will look to raise $121,000 to help with the cancer society's aims of combating cancer and supporting cancer victims, Fannin said.

Last year's event, which included participation of about 550 volunteers, team members and cancer survivors, brought in more than $103,000.

Last year's fundraising took the Westerville Relay For Life past the $1-million mark for fundraising. Westerville has held an annual Relay For Life since 1999.

Those interested in volunteering for this year's Westerville Relay For Life can call Fannin at (888) 227-6446, extension 3209, or via e-mail at amanda.fannin@cancer.org.

More information about the Westerville Relay For Life can be found at www.relayforlife.org/westerville.

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