MANSFIELD - Tioga County's two Relays for Life to benefit the American Cancer Society will combine into one, according to Kristin Nuss, Tioga County Relay for Life coordinator.
Nuss said the decision to combine the two events was made after a number of meetings with committee leadership of both events and the volunteer leadership council.
"All parties have been open to the idea and have a strong desire to ensure the Relay For Life of Tioga County becomes a countywide event," Nuss said.
The Relay For Life is intended to be a celebration, Nuss added.
"Not just for our cancer survivors, but also for our teams, participants and committee members who work so hard all year long to raise money to support our programs and services. We want everyone to have a great relay experience, and so we, along with volunteers from the two committees and the leadership council, felt the best way for that to happen was to transition the two events with one another for 2013," she said.
Coleen Evert and Pam Kathkart, who chaired the Wellsboro relay for the last two years, have agreed to chair the combined relay, and plan to add a third co-chair as the season begins in an effort to create a leadership succession plan for future relays, Nuss said.
Prior to making the decision to hold one relay, the co-chairs of the Mansfield event, Karen Delong and Kristen Farrer, decided to step down from their roles on the committee with a desire to focus primarily on planning the Bark For Life in Mansfield.
"We also are working to recruit volunteers to join the planning committee," said Nuss. "Our hope is to recruit volunteers and teams from communities from throughout the county. As a part of that effort we are planning to hold events in those communities to reach out to them to make sure they feel welcome to become a part of the Relay For Life of Tioga County.
The first of those events was the Bark For Life held on Sept. 8 at Smythe Park in Mansfield that raised almost $3,000 for the Relay For Life of Tioga County.
Plans for events in other communities are being finalized in ongoing meetings to plan the 2013 season. The 2013 relay will be held the second weekend in July with the location to be announced, Nuss said.