Brown County Relay for Life started raising funds for the 2016 event on Saturday. The organization has plenty of upcoming events and goals already set.

Relay for Life chose a spooky yet fun and magical way to start raising funds for the 2016 year.

Saturday afternoon and evening moviegoers arrived at the Lyric Theatre dressed superheroes, princesses and in scary costumes to attend showings of “Hocus Pocus” as the organization got an early start on the 2016 event.

“Well, we thought we if we are starting earlier this year,” said Lainey Hall of Relay for Life, “we are honing in on the Halloween spirit. We are doing a Halloween-themed show. We are seeing some good turnout. We sold a lot of tickets.”

The goal for this year’s Relay for Life is to raise $80,000 that will go toward cancer research.

“We’d like to raise $80,00 and top everything and blow it out of the park,” Hall said. “I think with everything we have going on leading up to Relay for Life we have a good chance of doing that.”

Hall said the organization is looking to expand its reach this year by issuing challenges to the community.

“We want to get the schools if we can, and put challenges out there to the three local schools and around Brown County,” Hall said. “We want to get as many teams as we can involved.”

Originally, according to Sheryl Jowers, one of the event’s organizers, the movie was going to be “Star Wars,” but that had to be changed.

“My original idea was to show Star Wars, the trilogy before the new movie comes out,” Jowers said. “I had called and spoke with Eric Evans at the Lyric about that possibility. We weren’t able to do Star Wars, but we had this idea since Halloween was on a Saturday to show a Halloween-themed movie and we were able to do that.”

Jowers said planning for Saturday’s event took about six weeks.

“Since we are starting earlier, I think we had a great participation with the Relay for Life teams that showed up,” Jowers said. “We are really excited about this year. We are starting it a little bit earlier so it will be a little cooler. We are hoping we have more teams and we have survivors signed up. It is for them.”

Eric Evans of the Lyric Theatre said he was pleased to help Relay for Life in their fundraising efforts.

“It has been pretty good for Relay for Life and us,” Evans said. “Selling movie tickets online is a new venture for us. We know they’ve already sold enough tickets to pay for their expenses. What we are able to do now is raise funds for their cause.”

Relay for Life will officially kick off the new fundraising year on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at Walgreens from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Teams will be able to sign up to participate in Relay for Life. Luminaries will also be sold and survivors are encouraged to sign up.

For more information about Relay for Life, contact Lainey Hall at (325) 642-0463, Sheryl Jowers at (325) 200-1962, or Donna Thacker at (325) 998-4910.

Brent Addleman is managing editor of the Brownwood Bulletin. He can be reached by calling 325-641-3110, or email Twitter: @BWD_Editor.