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Relay for Life organizers looking for more volunteers

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MASSENA — Although it’s still a few months away, organizers already are planning for June’s Massena/Louisville Relay for Life.

But they need some volunteer help to plan for and assist with the event.

“Right now we’re in need of volunteers. Presently there are eight volunteers to do it. The push is to get volunteers. There are many chairperson positions still open,” said Denise M. Furnace, who serves as publicity chairwoman for the event.

The organizing committee will meeting at 6 p.m. today at the Massena Meals on Wheels building, East Hatfield Street, and Ms. Furnace said there’s an open invitation for others to join. “We have one meeting a month, maybe an hour or two, depending on what’s going on. The big thing is the Friday and Saturday of the relay, being there to set up, staying the night and picking up the next day,” she said.

Volunteers don’t necessarily have to be present for the entire event, she said. They can work as their schedule allows at the Louisville Community Center, where this year’s Relay for Life will be held from 6 p.m. June 7 to 6 a.m. June 8.

For instance, Ms. Furnace said, if a person has to work all day Friday, his or her help would be appreciated at the event that night or with cleanup the next day.“Even if it’s a few hours here, a few hours there for setup,” she said.

Each Relay for Life begins with a Survivors Lap, and a volunteer can help plan the survivor events. Others can assist with tasks such as planning for food, safety and security, entertainment and activities, and team development and registration.

In addition to volunteers, Ms. Furnace said, the committee is always looking for more teams to participate in the relay. “More teams obviously means more money,” she said.

Money raised through the local Relay for Life helps support American Cancer Society research, education, advocacy and patient services in St. Lawrence County.

Organizers will hold their kickoff Feb. 6 at the Meals on Wheels building. That’s when they’ll hand out information packets to team captains and anyone else who is interested in participating this year.

In the meantime, they’ll also be marching in the Massena Winter Carnival parade and “painting the town purple.”

The purple ribbons will be tied around poles, along with a note card that gives the details for the kickoff event.

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