Taylor McLalin is just like most girls her age. She likes to hang out with her friends, play in her school's marching band, and is a fan of the ''Twilight'' books about modern vampires.
But unlike many other teenagers, Taylor spends a lot of time working to raise money for the Liberty Relay for Life to be held this year May 14 and 15 at Churchill Park. Over the years, Taylor has helped raise more than $2,000 for the American Cancer Society.
Forming her team in 2008 and inspired by a family friend who suffered with cancer, Taylor is on her third year of leading a team that has consistently increased in size over the past three years.
''This year she has a couple Boy Scout troops on her team and even managed to recruit some of our neighbors,'' said Katie McLalin, Taylor's mother.
Taylor has been working with Relay for Life with her parents for the past 10 years, but as she got older, she decided she wanted to lead her own team. As leader, Taylor works year-round on fundraisers as well as designing the team's T-shirts and banner, which changes each year based on a new theme. Her younger brother Jerry, 13, also helps out in the relay and is considering taking over the team if Taylor decides she doesn't want to be the leader any longer. But for now, Taylor's goal is to lead the team for at least five years.
''Last year our theme was Put Cancer to Bed,'' Taylor said, ''and we won third place for the best banner.''
This year, Taylor and her mother put together a patchwork quilt outlining the word, ''HOPE'' in purple. For $1 a square, anyone can sign Taylor's quilt, which will be on display at the Relay event.
Additional team fundraisers include selling ''flower pot people'' created by Taylor's dad, Jim McLalin. Flower pot people sell for $20 each set and are painted in a variety of colors. Jim is no stranger to raising money for the Liberty Relay for Life. In 2004, he cut his more than 40-inch long hair to donate to Wigs for Kids, collecting pledges and raising $1,600.
''We're trying to get more young people involved,'' Jim said. Jim and Katie also are members of the Liberty Relay for Life Board.
As team leader, Taylor has been able to bring more youth into the Relay, said Katie. Those youth include Boy Scout Troop 100 of Hubbard and Troop 40 from Girard.
Included in the scout troops are at least eight team members who will be walking the entire 24 hours, said Melissa DeSavigny, committee member for Troop 40.
This year's theme will be based on the ''Twilight'' books and movies with the motto, ''Stop Cancer for Eternity.''
Donations to Team Taylor can be mailed to 124 Bentley Ave., Hubbard, OH 44425, or call 330-502-2643.