Relay for Life continues, but with some changes this year
A 20-year-old event in Saline County that promotes awareness, education and research of cancer treatment will continue, but with some noticeable changes this year.
The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life became active in the county in 1998. The 12-hour walkathon encouraged teams to raise funds for ACS while offering entertainment and vendors for participants. Relay has done more than that. The event was also an opportunity to celebrate remissions and honor those who have lost their lives to cancer. More than $600,000 has been raised for the ACS in Saline County in that time.
“Hundreds of patients have been served in various ways, including wigs, Hope House stays, Ensure, Reach for Recovery, gas cards, the Look Good Feel Better program, and promoting education and awareness,” according to Publicity Chair Melody Dierking.
This year, there will not be a walk. Instead, organizers are planning a celebration dinner, scheduled at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 5, at Marshall High School. The dinner will honor survivors, those currently going through treatment, and caregivers, with the presentation of several awards. There will also be a guest speaker, a researcher who is actively searching for a cure and for new treatments.
“This will be an interesting perspective on the cancer journey,” Dierking said. “The co-chairs, Heather Bourbon and Laura Jackson, have been working diligently to preserve the meaning and importance of the message of the ACS. An exciting addition to this year’s Relay is the ACS Relay Phone-a-thon. … There will be people associated with Relay on the air and also people to answer the phones and take your donations.”
The phone-a-thon will run from 7-11 a.m. Saturday, June 9, through KMMO. Listeners will have an opportunity to call in to the radio station and donate directly to the Saline County Relay for Life. Those pledging $100 or more will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 gift card to Sturhahn Jewelers.
Luminaries will continue to be a part of this year’s Relay, illuminating the Marshall square for an entire week. Beginning Wednesday, June 5, luminaries will honor survivors, caregivers and those who lost the battle against cancer.
The dinner is sponsored and served by ConAgra Foods, of Marshall, and catered by Smith’s Food Bank, of Slater.