Logan County’s annual Relay for Life event will be occurring a little earlier than normal this time around due to heat, says its organizers. The Relay is a team event held at different times thought the year all over the United States to raise money for cancer research and to help support programs for cancer victims such as gas cards, wigs, and wheelchairs.
This year’s Logan County Relay for Life will be June 8-9 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. at the same location - the Logan County High School football field. Teams consisting of several people will pitch tents and “camp out” all night taking turns walking the track. Teams offer food and other items for sale to help raise money for the cause.
Relay for Life is a year-round fundraising effort with a year ending ceremony that lasts all night to reflect that cancer does not rest, and we won’t rest for the entire night of Relay to show how serious we are about supporting our friends and family.
The Relay starts with a Survivors Lap – an inspirational time when survivors are invited to circle the track together and help everyone celebrate the victories we’ve achieved over cancer. It’s an emotional example of how Relayers are ensuring that more lives are saved each year.
After dark, organizers honor people who have been touched by cancer and remember loved ones lost during the Luminary Ceremony. Candles are lit inside bags filled with sand, each one bearing the name of a person touched by cancer.
Throughout the evening activities will be planned to help keep you awake.
Logan County has held a Relay for close to 15 years and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help the American Cancer Society. This year’s Relay promises to be just as full of life and full of fun and organizers are inviting all of the community to come out and support a cause that may not effect you directly, but eventually will touch you one way or the other.
About 1,638,910 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2012. This estimate does not include carcinoma in situ (noninvasive cancer) of any site except urinary bladder, and does not include basal and squamous cell skin cancers which are not required to be reported to cancer registries.
In 2012, about 577,190 Americans are expected to die of cancer, more than 1,500 people a day. Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the US, exceeded only by heart disease, accounting for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths.
The 5-year relative survival rate for all cancers diagnosed between 2001 and 2007 is 67%, up from 49% in 1975-1977. The improvement in survival reflects both progress in diagnosing certain cancers at an earlier stage and improvements in treatment. Survival statistics vary greatly by cancer type and stage at diagnosis.
So if you ever though about helping the cause, Relay is a good place to begin.
This year’s chairman for Logan’s Relay is Pete Lawson, his co-chair is Melinda Riley. Others serving on the committee are, Teresa Aaron- luminaries, Beth Clark and Suzanne Nelson- survivors, Cindy Coffman- team recruitment, Rebecca Ferguson- team development, Daniel Gaston- logistics, Kige Ramsey - online, Holly Kash and Lisa Browning- activities, Debbie and Brianna Trickey - mission and advocacy and Marie Lawson and Darlene - accounting.
These individuals work diligently almost the whole year, along with teams to plan for a 24 hour period. There are other volunteers who donate their time as well. Brent Summers will be lending his exciting talents during the basket auction and Clay Bilyeu will be providing the music for the evening and morning.
Another collection will be taken up the night of the Relay to benefit Hope Lodge. Facing cancer is hard. Having to travel out of town for treatment can make it even harder. Yet the American Cancer Society has a place where cancer patients and their caregivers can find help and hope when home is far away - an American Cancer Society Hope Lodge.
Each Hope Lodge offers cancer patients and their caregivers a free, temporary place to stay when their best hope for effective treatment may be in another city. Not having to worry about where to stay or how to pay for lodging allows guests to focus on getting well. Hope Lodge provides a nurturing, home-like environment where guests can retreat to private rooms or connect with others. Every Hope Lodge also offers a variety of resources and information about cancer and how best to fight the disease.
Logan’s Relay organizers will be taking up collections of donated items such as paper towels, toilet paper, personal items or gift cards to grocery stores. Basically anything one would need if they are staying away from home.
Also this year, organizers have named the Spirit Award given each year the Belinda Ray 100 percent in honor of the late Belinda Ray, who lost her battle will cancer last year, but has left a positive mark on her community through the many people she touched. Mrs. Ray was the 2011 Relay for Life Survivor Chair.
“Like the Tobacco & Heritage Festival held each year, it’s a very social event being able to see people. But it is really so much more that that, it’s coming together to help fight cancer and support our loved ones,” said Terrie Lawson, 2011 co-chair.