Relay for Life changes location

Published 6:26 am Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The annual American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life will see another change of venue this coming year in an effort to further build the cancer fundraising event.

After spending the last few years at the Mower County Fairgrounds, the event will move to a more central location downtown with the hope of taking full advantage of everything Main Street has to offer in an effort to boost the relay. Main Street between Second and Fourth Avenues will be blocked off to accommodate the relay.

“We’re going to be featuring a lot of businesses,” said American Cancer Society Community Development Manager Garrett Stadsvold. “We really want to grasp the people of Austin who are in town on vacation or downtown on a Friday night. People will be able to go inside for food and drinks and still be a part of our events.”

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This year’s relay will start at 4 p.m. with a survivor’s reception. Opening ceremonies will be at 6 p.m. with the luminary ceremony at around 8:30 and 9 p.m.

But the relay will get an early jump before that. The Relay for Life kick-off event will be May 16 for individuals and teams interested in being a part of this year’s event. The kick-off will be held at Godfathers, which will be hosting a promotion where a certain amount of the proceeds that night will go towards the Relay For Life.

“We want people to come and learn about the event,” Stadsvold said. “Ask questions, give feedback, leave ideas.”

Stadsvold is hoping for growth in Mower County’s Relay for Life, which in the past has hosted around 30 teams. Stadsvold said they are just looking for a solid turnout that can act as a starting point for years to come.

“I would say there are no expectations at all,” he said. “It would be great to have the number of teams lined up we once had, but I don’t think that’s realistic. Historically we had 30 teams, but we would like to make that the goal for our county again.”