Supporters Pack Event

ST. MARYS — With a line out of the door, Varsity Lanes was packed Saturday night with community members coming out to support their peers and fighting for a cause.

Relay for Life of Southwest Auglaize County held its first big event of the year to get ready for its June event.

“This is our kickoff,” Co-Chair Jackie Speckman said after the doors opened for the fundraiser.

Speckman noted the various activities on the agenda for Saturday’s event, which went from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

“The bowling is a big part of it. We have a deejay — Special Mobile DJ Service — and we have a cake table with cake prizes,” Speckman said. “We have numerous door prizes that were donated — Pepsi donated T-shirts, Pantry Pride donated gift cards.”

She noted Pizza Hut in St. Marys donated pizza and Unique Awards made a banner that hung in the bowling alley.

“We had other donors to help pay for renting the bowling alley,” Speckman said.

Other donors included Minster Bank, Moran’s Refrigeration, Cotterman and Company, Cardinal Express New Bremen, Schwieterman’s Pharmacy, St. Marys Kiwanis, Miller Funeral Home, The Evening Leader, Pantry Pride, La Piazza New Bremen and New Bremen Machine and Tool.

“We were able to keep the prices down due to all of the donations — they all donated at least $50 for the cost,” Speckman said, noting the event cost $10 for adults and $6 for children and included bowling, pizza, drinks and the chance to win various prizes.

Speckman added her thanks for Varsity Lanes for hosting the fundraiser.

“We have to hand it to Jay — Jay Gibson, the owner of Varsity Lanes — for helping us out so much with this,” she said.

Speckman added the event is a way to raise awareness for Relay for Life.

“It’s basically to let people know about it,” she said. “We can get people signed up for it, get them involved with the relay.”

Speckman said she was thrilled with the amount of people who came out to the event.

“I’m totally shocked,” she said. “Tuesday morning we had to give them preliminary  numbers for the food, and I told them roughly 100, and then I upped it to 150. There’s probably at least 300.”

Fellow chair Jesse Purcell echoed Speckman’s thoughts.

“We’re so excited all these people came tonight and they’re going to find out all of the information about the St. Marys relay,” Purcell said.

The Relay for Life of Southwest Auglaize County will be June 15 and 16 at Skip Baughman Stadium in St. Marys to benefit the American Cancer Society.