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Hendricks County Relay for Life Event raises money for cancer research

By Nichole Meloche

Nearly two decades after the first event in Danville, the annual Hendricks County Relay for Life event is approaching. This year’s event will support those who have battled with cancer May 20 at Brownsburg East Middle School.

Sharon Hammer has volunteered on the event leadership team for 16 years. After attending her first Relay for Life event in 2007, her sister-in-law was diagnosed with cancer, which encouraged her family to get more involved in funding cancer research.

“Relay for Life has been a staple in Hendricks County for about 20 years with the first relay event in Danville, followed a few years later by Avon, Brownsburg and Plainfield,” said Hammer. “Unfortunately, Brownsburg is the only community event that has withstood the test of time and is still going strong.”

To include the entire county, this year members of the Brownsburg Relay for Life are rebranding the fundraiser as Relay for Life of Hendricks County, Hammer said. This broadens the base for volunteers, event participants, survivors and potential sponsors. 

Volunteers at Relay for Life sell concessions to raise money to fund cancer research. (Photos provided by Sharon Hammer)

The event will feature a bounce house, Star Wars characters, live bands, international foods and Zumba classes. Cancer survivors and one caregiver are invited to receive a free dinner. 

At 10 p.m. a luminaria ceremony will honor the memories of those participants have lost.

An online silent auction before the event will raise funds as participants bid on items such as gift cards, baskets and autographed items. Individuals and companies may donate to the auction until May 6.

“We would love to invite residents and businesses to support us by walking at our event to help fundraise and bring awareness to the need to find a cure,” said Hammer. “We plan to honor cancer survivors and strongly encourage every survivor to register online and to participate in the survivor walk and dinner.”

A luminary bag honored the memory of someone who lost a battle to cancer at a previous Relay for Life event.

Relay for Life of Hendricks County

When: 2-11 p.m. May 20

Where: Brownsburg East Middle School track, 1555 S. Odell St., Brownsburg.

Email: shrnhmmr@sbcglobal.net or janet.wartman@cancer.org

Dinner: 5 p.m. Cancer survivors and one caregiver may attend a free dinner

Luminaria ceremony: 10 p.m. honor those who lost their cancer battles.

Online silent auction: May 11-20. Contacting Sharon Hammer to donate items, shrnhmmr@sbcglobal.net.

Cost: Free to attend. Other activities vary.

Website: Register, make online donations and purchase luminary bag purchases at


Donations: Checks made to the American Cancer Society can be dropped off at the event.

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