John Fortman, who has been in charge of logistics for the American
Cancer Society’s SCV Relay For Life for the past three years, has been
named chairman for this year’s Relay, scheduled for May 30-31 at
Central Park. He is joined by co-chairs Jennifer Minard and Brian
Afdahl, two local Relay veterans who will take on various functions for
this year’s event and move up into the chair position in subsequent
Fortman has been involved with Relay since 2005, when he attended his first Relay Rally at Valencia Acura and joined a friend’s walking team. “I remember how blown away I was by the ceremonies, especially luminaria,” he said of his first event.
Jennifer Minard has been involved with Relay For Life since 2001, starting out as a team member and then serving as co-captain of the Bosom Buddies team. She gradually moved up to serve as a volunteer, then a committee member for Relay. She has worked with luminaria, served as assistant to the team captain coordinator and chaired registration, accounting and data entry.
Minard’s co-chair is Brian Afdahl, who first became involved in Relay as a member of the Valencia Acura team in 2005. He returned to Relay in 2008 in charge of equipment—arranging for tents, tables and chairs for the many Relay vendors. He took over as site logistics chair when the previous chair moved out of state.
Committee meetings already have begun, and a strong group of subcommittee chairs is already on board to help plan this year’s event. Fortman noted that the local Relay, which broke the $500,000 mark for the first time last year, is the No. 1 Relay For Life event in Los Angeles County.
The committee is still seeking chairs and volunteers for several subcommittees, and local residents who would like to help with event planning are invited to call 298-0886, option 3, or check the local Relay Web site at www.SCVRelay.org.
The committee meets at 6:30 p.m. in the offices of HMNM Health Foundation at the western edge of the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital complex, usually on the second Tuesday evening of each month. The meetings are open to anyone interested in helping organize this year’s Relay, which hopes to raise a record $600,000 for the American Cancer Society’s fight against all forms of cancer.