From close family members to close friends, we all know someone whose life has been touched by cancer at some point. With the progress being made on all fronts by the American Cancer Society, the number of cancer survivors is growing every year. Thanks to early detection and more effective treatments, millions are going on to not only survive the disease, but are leading incredibly full and inspiring lives. Indeed, there are more than 12 million cancer survivors living in the United States.
On Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Dodger Stadium, The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Webster County will kick off with a special Survivors Lap, a moving experience honoring those who have defeated cancer. Survivors will join together to take Relay's opening lap, unified in victory and hope, while the rest of the event's participants surround the track to cheer them on.
Relay For Life is a unique grassroots fundraising event in which individuals and teams of participants in nearly 5,100 communities nationwide walk around a track united in the fight against cancer. The money raised through Relay For Life supports the American Cancer Society's efforts to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.
Relay brings together friends, families, businesses, hospitals, schools, faith-based groups; people from all walks of life - all aimed at celebrating the lives of those who have had cancer, remembering those lost, and fighting back against the disease. If you are a cancer survivor or caregiver and would like to take part in the Relay For Life of Webster County, please call Melinda Fraher at 576-0307 or Allan Wooters at 352-3983. All survivors receive a free Relay For Life T-shirt. There will be a special reception area designated for all survivors and caregivers during Relay.
A special Luminaria Ceremony will be held at 9:30 p.m. during the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Webster County. The hundreds of personalized luminaries lit around Dodger's track will help us remember those lost to cancer and honor those who have survived.
Anyone desiring to make a luminaria donation may do so by contacting Sherry Collins-Ruge at 576-1475 or firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting RelayForLife.org/WebsterCountyIa. Each luminaria candle is $10 and the money goes toward the fight against cancer.
Relay at a glance
American Cancer Society Relay For Life is at Dodger Stadium in Fort Dodge Friday from 6 p.m. to Midnight (with a Luminaria vigil to continue overnight).
5 p.m. - Registration
6 p.m. - Opening Ceremonies
6:15 p.m. - Honorary Survivors
6:30 p.m. - Survivor Lap and Caregiver Walk
6:45 p.m. - Sponsorship Recognition Relay Lap
7 p.m. - Parade of Teams
7:30 p.m. - Entertainment
8 to to 9:30 p.m. - Theme Laps and Kids' Games
9:30 p.m. - Luminaria Ceremony
10:15 p.m. - Fight Back Ceremony
11 p.m. - Team Awards
11:45 p.m. - Closing Ceremony
"Each luminaria represents the life of someone who has battled cancer. It is a beautiful sight when all the bags with candles are illuminated around the track," said Collin-Ruge, volunteer luminaria chair. "The Luminaria Ceremony is a moving way to remember loved ones lost to cancer and to pay tribute to cancer survivors."
Also a part of Webster County's Relay For Life event is the "Fight Back" Ceremony, in which Nancy McCard, Relay For Life mission chair will inspire Relay participants with her own commitment and will challenge them to take a personal pledge of action (e.g., stop smoking, eat more healthily, exercise regularly, etc.) in fighting back.
Why Relay? Because I believe that The American Cancer Society Relay For Life represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated. Relay For Life is more than just a fundraiser. It's a life-changing experience. At Relay, every person in the community has a chance to celebrate, remember and fight back. And every person who participates joins others around the globe as part of this worldwide movement to end cancer.
Everyone's reason to Relay is as unique as their own personal story. At Relay, you can find healing, comfort, and support from others who have faced cancer or who have lost a loved one to the disease. You have a chance to meet people in the community who are equally as passionate about finding an end to cancer in our lifetime. You can thank all the people who have done so much to support you through your personal cancer experience. And you can gather together with friends, family and colleagues to laugh, cry and create lasting memories.
No matter why you take part in Relay, one thing is clear: with every step you take, you are helping the American Cancer Society save lives. With your help, we aren't just fighting one type of cancer - we're fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. Each person who shares the Relay experience can take pride in knowing that they are working to create a world where this disease will no longer threaten the lives of our loved ones or claim another year of anyone's life.
To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at (800) 227-2345 or visit cancer.org. For more information about making a luminaria donation, forming a Relay team or walking in the Survivors or Caretaker's Lap contact Nick Johnson at 408-6425 or visit RelayForLife.org/WebsterCountyIa.
Nick Johnson is the fixed operations director at Fort Dodge Ford Lincoln Toyota and volunteers his time as the publicity chairperson for the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Webster County Steering Committee.