Birthday party a Relay for Life walk fundraiser
By Denise Baran-Unland For The Herald-News May 18, 2012 4:38PM
Ashley Ledford, who will host a Relay for Life team, poses with her grandfather, Sam Chellino of Crest Hill, who is battling cancer. | Submitted photo
If you go
What: Relay for Life Birthday Party Fundraiser
When: 4–7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Judson Memorial Baptist Church, 2800 Black Road (corner of Infantry Drive and Black Road), Joliet
Etc: Food, games, music, raffles, birthday cake
Cost: $6 per person or $20 per family.
Donate online: www.main.acsevents.org/goto/allthingsarepossible
Updated: June 28, 2012 12:55PM
CREST HILL — Ashley Ledford of Crest Hill requests the honor of your presence Saturday at a special birthday party, a fundraiser for her Relay for Life team, to benefit the American Cancer Society.
Ledford hopes her nine-person team will raise $2,000, and proceeds from the party will help her meet that goal.
This is Ledford’s first year as a Relay for Life team captain. She wanted to participate in a big way this year with the overnight fundraiser that requires someone from each team to be walking on the track at all times.
“One of the American Cancer Society’s slogans says it’s ‘the official sponsor of birthday parties,’ ” Ledford said, referring to the organization’s goal of helping people beat cancer so they can celebrate another birthday. “So I thought a birthday party-themed event would be fun for people.”
People of all ages can celebrate life at Judson Memorial Baptist Church’s large multipurpose room with food, traditional birthday party games such as Pin the Tail on the Donkey, music, raffles and, of course, birthday cake.
“It’s a very family-friendly event,” Ledford said.
For the past several years, Ledford had participated as a team member for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life fundraiser. But when Ledford left the church that had created a team, Ledford decided to form a team of her own.
Soon after making that decision, Ledford’s grandfather, Sam Chellino of Crest Hill, was diagnosed with cancer.
“I was in the room when the doctor came in and told him,” Ledford said. “It was very hard. I didn’t know how to react, so I looked around the room to see how everyone else was reacting.”
Ledford couldn’t picture her grandfather sitting on the sidelines while battling an illness. Chellino is, Ledford said, an active, community-minded man, someone who, during the Christmas season, plays Santa Claus for various events, a role he’d portrayed since he was 19.
In addition, Ledford said, Chellino is also active with the Crest Hill Lions. He had also videotaped events for the Joliet JackHammers. Ledford worried how cancer might affect him. She had not anticipated the fervor with which Chellino, who is scheduled for surgery later this month, would fight back.
“He did not get sick from treatments, but they did slow him down,” Ledford said. “It’s encouraging because he’s still going and getting out, just at a slower pace.”
In addition to supporting Chellino, Ledford will be walking in honor of her stepmother, Kelly Ledford of Joliet, who lost both her mother and stepmother to breast cancer. Kelly’s grandmother also battled breast cancer, but she survived, Ledford said.