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Relay for Life sets goal of 30 teams, kick-off party scheduled for March 6

The Becker County Relay for Life is June 20, but now is the time to start thinking about signing up your team and walking for the cause.

The Becker County Chapter of the American Cancer Society hosts its Relay for Life kick-off and informational meeting Thursday, March 6, at 6 p.m. in Trinity Lutheran Church, Detroit Lakes.

The meeting is open to "anybody interested in Relay for Life," Relay Co-Chair Michelle Bjorgan said. Prizes will also be given out the kick-off party.

Bjorgan, who has been with Relay for eight years, said in her time with Relay, she has seen several changes and growth. A community dinner and silent auction have been added to the list of events, more teams have become involved and just last year a kids' carnival was added.

New this year is an overhaul on the organization's Web site

"We just have fun," Bjorgan said of the group, which is looking for more volunteers to get involved.

"There are lots of opportunities available, depending on how much you're willing and able to get involved," she said.

One person ready to be involved is Bjorgan's 11-year-old daughter Trina. She's been with Relay for seven years, organizing her own youth teams to participate. Her reason for getting involved is a personal one.

"My grandpa was diagnosed with cancer and seven weeks later, my grandma was (diagnosed)," she said.

Besides just "helping to promote Relay," this year Trina plans to sit on the Relay for Life board as a youth mission chair, each month reading a mission for the group.

To raise money for Relay, Trina developed the Purple Plunger in school. She also sold candy bars to raise money for her team.

"Kind of scared mom when a semi backed up with a forklift," Michelle Bjorgan said.

Trina, with some help, sold 50 boxes of 50 chocolate candy bars. She raised $400 for her team.

Besides helping raise cancer awareness, Trina hopes to recruit "more kids for the team. It's hard for me at this age."

She usually has 10 teammates walking for Relay, and the group votes on themes and skits for that years. In the past, they have done Hooping Out Cancer and Plunging Out Cancer. She said she's not sure what this year's theme will be yet.

Two years ago, Trina received Kohl's Cares for Kids award for her work with Relay for Life.

She said she plans to continue with Relay for Life in the future and hopes to be even "more involved to get people to get involved because it's fun and for a good cause."

Each year Relay for Life averages 23 teams, and this year organizers are pushing for 30.

For more information, to volunteer or to sign up a team, either come to the kick-off party March 6 or contact Michelle Bjorgan at 849-3655 or, or Lori Bachmann at 847-4725 or