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Chelsea Relay for Life Organizers Say Participation Down from Previous Years

Volunteers are needed to help plan and organize the 2013 fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

With three months to go, organizers with the Chelsea Relay for Life are struggling to generate community interest in this year's fundraiser benefiting the American Cancer Society.

"Participation is down across the board," Max Brennan, community coordinator for the ACS said. "We haven't had the volunteer leadership we've had in previous years."

So far Chelsea has managed to register eight teams that have raised $3,485.

Brennan said the goal is to register 15 to 20 teams by May 18, when participants will hit the track at Pierce Lake Elementary School for 24 hours, walking to honor family and friends affected by cancer.

"In previous years there was a lot of interest from a small group of people, but those volunteers have slowly stepped aside," Brennan said. "We are definitely looking to more people in the community to step up this year."

Brennan said relay organizers are looking for a core group of 10 or more volunteers that can help rally the public.

"While there's a strong interest (for Relay or Life) in the surrounding communities of Manchester and Dexter, Chelsea's relay is still a work in progress," he said.

There are a number of ways you can get involved to help with this year’s event.

New faces are needed to volunteer for the planning committee, which organizes entertainment and logistics for the relay. Meetings take place on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Woodland Rooms downstairs from the main entrance of the Chelsea Community Hospital.

Though the official kick-off for the relay already took place on Feb. 19, Brennan said teams can still register anytime before May 18. To register, visit the ACS website, or call Brennan at 248-663-3480.

“By participating in Relay For Life, you are fueling the mission of the American Cancer Society, which is saving lives by helping people stay well, get well, find cures, and fight back,” Brennan said.

One example is the volunteer “Road to Recovery” program. The ACS transportation assistance program provides volunteer drivers who donate their time and the use of their vehicles to drive cancer patients to treatments at local hospitals.

Through Road To Recovery, Brennan said more than 150 rides have been provided to patients in Washtenaw County this year.

“Cancer patients receiving their treatment on-time and without unnecessary interruption is a necessity for successful treatment of the disease,” he said.

For more information about participating in this year's Relay for Life, visit http://main.acsevents.org, and search for Chelsea.

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