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Relay for Life looking for volunteers, committee members

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MASSENA - With several long-time committee members stepping down, organizers of this year’s Massena/Louisville Relay for Life are looking for more volunteers to step forward to assist in planning for the event.

Their next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight at the Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce, 16 Church St.

Event Chair Denise M. Furnace said they have three returning volunteers and committee members.

“We are in desperate need of committee members and volunteers. Several long-term committee members have chosen to step down at the end of last year’s relay. They have been doing it for so long. They think we need to bring new life into the relay, that it’s the same people coming up with the same things time after time,” Ms. Furnace said.

Anyone who attends tonight’s meeting can learn about the opportunities that are available to assist in the planning for the event, which will be held June 6-7 at the Louisville Community Center.

“We’re just going to talk about setting up for the kick-off (on Feb. 4). If somebody new comes, Laura (Gregory, American Cancer Society St. Lawrence County community executive) and I can talk to them about what positions are available, what they may want to contribute to it and if they want to help somebody else,” Ms. Furnace said.

She said they’ll hold two meetings in January to get ready for the Feb. 4 kick-off at the chamber office.

“The meetings generally last about an hour or two, and we meet once a month except for the month before kick-off and the relay,” she said.

After the kick-off event, she said there would be both committee and team captain meetings that would last about two hours.

A number of opportunities are available for volunteers, according to the event chair. Among the chair positions are registration and accounting, luminaria, publicity, event co-chair and sponsorships.

“There are many other possible chair seats, but these ones are vital to a successful event. If these positions are not filled, our present committee members will have to take on additional jobs,” she said.

While registration is done on the Internet, volunteers for the position would be involved with collecting money from people as they raise it. They would also check to see if teams in the past have registered and, if not, contact them about registration.

Ms. Furnace said publicity, a job she has handled in the past, is also available.

“That’s a big one. There are other small jobs, like somebody getting donations for food and other items and somebody talking to different people about sponsorships,” she said.

“You do not have to work a chair position as an individual. Two or more people can work together to complete the tasks,” Ms. Furnace said.

Anyone who can’t make tonight’s meeting can attend the next one on Jan. 21 or contact Ms. Furnace at 769-7186 or email massenarelayforlife@yahoo.com.

Volunteers can make a significant difference in the lives of those who are affected by cancer, she said.

“This is a very worthy cause and raises a significant amount of money for the American Cancer Society,” she said.

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