A new venue is just one of the changes made to this year's Relay For Life of Dublin.

A new venue is just one of the changes made to this year's Relay For Life of Dublin.

The event will begin at 6 p.m. May 27 and end at midnight at Ohio University's Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, 6775 Bobcat Way.

Alex Widdell, community manager for the event, said planners decided to revamp it to create a festival-like feel.

"We really wanted to get the community involved," she said, including local businesses, corporations, friends and families.

The venue change means that instead of walking around a track, participants can walk on a sidewalk around a pond. The event date was also moved to Memorial Day weekend in an effort to get more families to attend.

Relay For Life was previously a 12-hour event, but Widdell said they moved to a 6-hour time frame this year.

Whereas the event had been more oriented toward high school students in the past, this year planners wanted to encourage more community members to attend without being pressured to stay for the duration.

The Relay's main structure still exists and added events include performances from local bands and Irish step-dancers, Widdell said.

Food trucks including Yabo's Tacos and Blu Olive will be onsite, and Dewey's Pizza will be donated in the evening.

Other activities include an ice cream eating contest and a chicken wing eating contest. One of the Relay teams will also lead attendees in a yoga exercise.

Widdell said this year's fundraising goal is $18,000, which goes to the American Cancer Society. Some of that money will be put toward local use, going to local health entities such as the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center -- Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

Other funding goes toward patient and family support, including rides for treatment, discounted or free hotel stays for local hospital treatment and free cosmetology classes for breast cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment, Widdell said.

Widdell has served as community manager for Relay For Life of Dublin for a little more than a year and she said she has been involved with Relay For Life events in her hometown of Niles since she was a toddler.

Widdell's family was motivated to become involved in the event because of her grandfather, who survived thyroid cancer and melanoma, she said. Her aunt is also a breast cancer survivor.

Andrea McNamara, a Hilliard resident, said her experience as caretaker to her father, who died at 72 in September from pancreatic cancer, made her view cancer in a new way.

"It really opened my eyes," she said.

McNamara's father was diagnosed with cancer just a month after her mother's breast cancer went into remission.

"So it was kind of a whirlwind," she said.

Her mother's experience seemed to be a matter of getting treatment and getting better, McNamara said, but during her time spent as her father's caretaker she got a closer look at cancer.

She saw not only elderly patients, but young adults in the chemotherapy room.

"It was just shocking to me," she said.

McNamara ended up getting involved with the Hilliard Relay For Life after meeting staff from the American Cancer Society by chance at a restaurant during the event's kickoff dinner.

So far she's raised $1,600 through making gift baskets, with items donated by Hilliard and Dublin businesses.

McNamara and her family also plan to attend the Dublin Relay for Life. McNamara said she thinks the experience will be a positive one to have over Memorial Day weekend.

She said it was difficult seeing her father, a strong and powerful man, become withered from cancer.

"Anything I can do to help other people not to have that experience, then I am happy to help," she said.