By Paul Struck, Editor
Plans are being finalized for the American Cancer Society's (ACS) annual "Relay For Life" to be held at Koser-Spring Lake Park in Cherokee Friday and Saturday, August 5 and 6.
Beginning at 7 p.m. Friday, August 5, teams of enthusiastic walkers will gather at the Cherokee park for an overnight relay aganst cancer, the walk ending at 7 a.m. Saturday.
Relay For Life is a unique fund-raising event that allows participants from all walks of life, including patients, medical support staff, corporations, civic organizations, churches and community volunteers to join together to fight cancer. Relay For Life reminds us that progress has been made in the fight against cancer and that everyone who participates is making a difference.
The Relay For Life event opens as cancer survivors (anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer) walk or wheelchair the first lap. This is an emotional time and sets the stage for the importance of each participant's contribution. A festive atmosphere always develops around the park area at these events. As you make new friends and spend time with old ones, the Relay heats up and the camp-out begins. An atmosphere of camaraderie is created with team members entertaining each other: eating, playing games, and, of course, walking for a great cause.
Highlighting the evening is the Luminaria Cerremony held after dark to honor cancer survivors and to remember those who have lost the battle against cancer. The luminarias line the path and are left burning throughout the night to remind participants of the incredible importance of their contributions.
"Relay For Life is as much an awareness raiser about the progress against cancer as it is a fund-raiser," said Jodi Schlichting, publicity chair for the Cherokee event.
"Many of the participants will be people who have dealt with cancer themselves. Their involvement is proof of the progress that has been made in reducing cancer death rates and in the quality of life following cancer treatment.
"The funds raised will enable us to continue our investment in the fight against cancer through educational programs, research and services to patients," said Schlichting. "Due to the generosity of corporate and individual sponsors the money raised by participants goes directly to the American Cancer Society's lifesaving programs."
Information about how to form a team or become involved in Relay For Life is available from the American Cancer Society at 1.800.ACS.2345 or from Betty Resch in Cherokee at 225-5436.
If you or someone you know has been touched by cancer, the American Cancer Society can help. Call 1.800.ACS.2345 and ask for a Navigator who will assist cancer patients and families in finding cancer information and local resources. A Spanish-speaking Navigator is also available.
Such resources may include the following American Cancer Society programs: Reach to Recovery: A one-to-one visitation program, providing support and information to the newly diagnosed breast cancer patient; Look Good - Feel Better: Volunteer cosmetologists provide cancer patients with advice about dealing with appearance changes resulting from treatment; Road to Recovery: Volunteers drive patients to and from treatment free of charge and At Home: Medical equipment such as walkers, wheel chairs, hospital beds is loaned to patients for use in their homes.
The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. Founded in 1913 and with national headquarters in Atlanta, the Society has 14 regional Divisions and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across the United States.
For more information anytime, call toll free 1.800.ACS.2345 or visit