LEAVITTSBURG, Ohio (WKBN) – Most Relay for Life Events don’t require a badge for entrance. But Thursday’s event at the Trumbull Correctional Institution in Leavittsburg was an exception.
Inmates there said they are as committed to stopping cancer as those who participate in other Relay for Life events.
“Just like all of our other mini-relays. They have the opening ceremony, luminaria ceremony, games, walking. You name it, they do it,” said Relay for Life Senior Manager Pam Marshall.
About 400 inmates volunteered for Thursday’s event, including 248 who donated to take part in the relay.
It was a day full of activities beyond walking. Inmates took part in games, enjoyed outside food and presented a check for their donations to the American Cancer Society.
“That itself surprised me,” said Matt, an inmate at TCI. “A lot of guys that only get state pay, which is only money they get here in the institution. They spent that on this. So that in itself is incredible. It shows how great this cause is, that guys pulled together like that.”
“There are some inmates that have given up to $20,” TCI Activity Director Jason Ray said. “In our terms, that’s really not a lot of money. But to an inmate, that’s over a month’s pay.”
Thursday’s mini-relay was the first at TCI in two or three years. But organizers said they may come back again and may have the event every year.