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Relay for Life kicks off with paint party

Franklin County will incorporate this year’s Relay for Life theme – Painting Our County Purple – in a big way with its kick-off event for team captains and co-captains.

“We’re having a painting party for our team captains,” explained Relay Committee Chair Belinda Johnson. Formerly, the kick-off event has been a sit-down meal and a keynote speaker, so “this is something very different,” Johnson added.

The kick-off is set for Jan. 19 at 6 p.m. at the A.W. Todd Centre in downtown Russellville. Team captains – as well as their co-captain or one other team member – are invited to enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres and an instructor-led canvas painting session. An artist will walk participants through the group painting step by step, right down to how to mix colors and what brush strokes to use to get the desired effect. No painting experience or skill is necessary.

Johnson said they hope to both fire up and energize team captains as well as encourage more new and returning teams to sign up for this year’s Relay.

“If someone wants to form a team and has never had a team, we want them to come,” Johnson said.

Informational packets will be distributed at the kick-off, and team captains may also bring money to turn in, if they have already begun fundraising. There will be someone on hand to help teams register online, as well as to answer questions and offer tips on team-creation and fundraising.

Johnson said she hopes the painting party is something team captains will enjoy and that will help them feel appreciated.

“We will all walk away with a painting,” Johnson said. “It gave us an opportunity to give our team captains something to walk away with for what they give us, our patients and our community.”

The artist who will lead the painting session is providing all painting supplies free for each team captain and co-captain. For any additional team member participants, who are welcome to attend, a minimal fee will be charged.

Right now, Johnson said, 14 teams have signed up to participate in Franklin County’s 2016 Relay for Life, which will be held May 6. Last year, 33 teams participated.

In addition to helping team captains feel appreciated, Johnson said the hope is that this event will bolster excitement, enthusiasm and community amongst team captains. Camaraderie is an important focus. After all, “we’re all doing this for the same reason,” Johnson said. “We all have the same goal in mind.”

Attendees should RSVP to ensure plenty of painting supplies and informational packets are available. To RSVP, email anna.duncan@cancer.org or call 256-536-1863.

“We encourage people to come out,” said Anna Duncan, Relay for Life community manager. “It’s going to be a fun night.”

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