The Frostproof City Council was approached on Monday by a representative from the Relay for Life seeking sponsorship for next year’s event, but was met by some reservation since the annual event is being combined with the one in Fort Meade and being held in that city.
Thelma Chambers, Sponsorship Chairman for the Fort Meade and Frostproof Relay for Life, along with Fort Meade City Commissioner Barbara Manley, appeared before the city council hoping that the city become a sponsor as the City of Fort Meade has.
Fort Meade Deputy City Clerk Melissa Newman said the city has agreed to give $500 to help out the newly combined effort.
“In these economic times it may be difficult for individuals to give as much as in the past so we urge our local businesses to help us as much as you can,” Chambers wrote in a letter addressed to the City prior to the meeting.
Mayor Anne Dickinson inquired if Frostproof has a leader for the event, commenting how difficult it would be for the city to participate without leadership.
“I think you’re going to find that Frostproof is not going to participate having to go to Fort Meade with no leadership,” Dickinson said.
After much discussion, the council agreed that they would try to find someone to take the position as the Frostproof leader.
Relay for Life is an annual nationwide fundraiser held by the American Cancer Society to raise funds for cancer research and awareness.
The overnight fundraiser involves teams and volunteers camping out around a designated track while taking turns walking laps around it, all the while raising money through food, games, and other activities.
The 2014 Fort Meade and Frostproof Relay for Life is planned for April 4-5 at Fort Meade Middle-Senior High School.
This will be the first time that Frostproof and Fort Meade will co-host the Relay For Life. In the past, both cities have hosted their own individual relays, with Frostproof having hosted their Relay for ten years.
Last year, the two separate relays managed to raise a combined $92,000, according to Chambers’ letter.
City Commissioner Martha Neher commented that having the two cities combine their efforts into one unified event would be most beneficial, especially amidst such harsh economic times.
“These small towns are not giving as much money as they would necessarily like, so I understand about combining the cities,” Neher said. “It makes sense.”
Chambers replied that everyone involved had high expectations for the event, and hope that the high school football field would be packed as a result.
Currently 15 teams and 86 participants have signed up for next year’s event, though spots are open for additional volunteers.
Teams include local businesses and organizations including the Fort Meade Community 4-H Club, Lewis Anna Woodbury Elementary, Fort Meade Middle-Senior High School, B’s Bunch, Fruit of the Spirit, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. (Gamma Phi Zeta), New Hope Church, Woman’s Club of Fort Meade, Oakview Lakes, Frostproof Church of God, New Life Baptist Church, and Walter Graves Construction.
Earlier this month, a kick-off party was hosted on Nov. 5 at the Fort Meade City Mobile Home Park.