EASTPOINTE/ROSEVILLE — Eastpointe Mayor Suzanne Pixley will compete against Roseville Mayor John Chirkun to see who can collect more funds for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
“In light of the rivalry that has existed between Eastpointe and Roseville for years, we challenge Mayor Chirkun and Mayor Pixley to a dual,” said Linda Weishaupt, the promotions chair for the Roseville-Eastpointe Relay for Life.
The two mayors have until March 4 to collect as much money as they can for the cause — each penny is counted as one vote — and the mayor with the most votes at the end conducts the opening ceremony at the Roseville-Eastpointe Relay for Life at Veterans Memorial Park June 8.
The votes will be tallied and the winner will be announced at a kickoff and informational event at 6 p.m. March 5 at the Masonic Center, located at 27151 Gratiot Ave. in Roseville.
As part of the challenge, each mayor was given five Relay canisters, which they can place in various locations around their respective cities or carry with them to events or activities to panhandle for the cause.
Pixley joked about Roseville’s large population, saying panhandling might be the only way she can win.
“I’m going to have to take it with me and just beg from everybody,” she said. “That’s the only way I’m ever going to win.”
Pixley said her container would be with her at the Art and Ice Festival, but she wasn’t sure where her other four canisters would end up.
Chirkun said he’s relying on the residents of Roseville to fill his on their own. He mentioned various locations he’ll approach to see about placement around the city, such as C & U party store at Commons and Utica.
“Relay started in Roseville, so I have to make sure our city is being represented well, and I’m sure the good citizens of Roseville will come together as they always do when it is for a good cause,” Chirkun said.
Weishaupt is hoping the mayoral challenge will help amp up this year’s event and increase donations. Last year the Roseville-Eastpointe Relay brought in about $55,000, an almost 25 percent drop from the previous year, when the Relay event for the two cities brought in $72,000.
Weishaupt said that the Roseville-Eastpointe Relay was one of only a few in the state that officially combined two communities, and while the challenge played off the old rivalry between the two communities, the event itself created the chance for them to come together for a worthy cause.
“Everyone has been touched by some form of cancer,” she said. “The Roseville-Eastpointe Relay for Life is both communities working together to create a world where there is less cancer and more birthdays.”
Relay for Life is currently looking for teams to participate in this year’s 24-hour event. Information on joining teams and starting teams will be available at the kickoff.
For more information on the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life, call (248) 663-3418 or visit www.relayforlife.org/rosevillemi. To contact Mayor Suzanne Pixley for canister locations, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact Mayor John Chirkun for canister locations, email email@example.com.