It's time once again for the Relay for Life kickoff meeting.
"This is an informational meeting open to anyone in the community who is interested in getting involved in this year's Relay for Life," said Corry Israel, the event co-chair for Relay for Life of Ford & Gray Counties.
This year's relay will take place June 14 at Memorial Stadium.
There are several ways for someone to get involved with the event. Volunteers can sign up to be part of a relay team, be a corporate sponsor, be a day-of volunteer, register as a caregiver/cancer survivor, purchase a luminaria in honor of someone who has passed away from cancer, or a cancer survivor, or just come and cheer on those who are walking.
"Anyone who wants to help make a difference can come to this meeting," Israel said. "If this is their first time, or they've been volunteering for years now, it doesn't matter."
Last year Relay for Life of Ford & Gray Counties had 18 teams signed up and raised just over $71,000. The goal for this year is 19 teams.
"We're really just getting started planning for this year's relay with this meeting," Israel said. "So we encourage anyone who's interested to come out and learn more about how to get involved."
Individuals can sign up their team, make a donation or just learn more about the event in general. Volunteers may also register their team online, or make a donation at www.relayforlife.org/fordcountyks.
The meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 21 at Western Plains Medical Complex HR office, 108 Ross Blvd. , should only take about an hour.
"There are several ways to get involved, and many of them don't require a huge time commitment," Israel said. "Plus, it's a really fun event and a great way to give back to your community."
What is Relay for Life
According to relayforlife.org, the event started in 1985 when Dr. Gordy Klatt walked around track in Tacoma, Wash., for 24 hours straight to raise awareness and money for cancer research. The next year, 340 supporters joined him. Today, Relay for Life is a national event with relays taking place all over the country.
Volunteers form a team or make a pledge to walk for 24 hours to raise money for cancer. Teams may divide the time up between members, but the goal is to have at least one person on the track for the entire event.
Here in Dodge City a relay has been held annually since 1995. Residents have raised nearly three-quarters of a million dollars all going to cancer research.
Several events make up a relay. They always begin with a survivor lap, where cancer survivors take a lap to celebrate their victory over cancer, next is the caregiver lap which recognizes those who care for cancer patients. After those two laps all relayers are invited to begin walking. Once the sun goes down there is a luminaria ceremony, where all of the luminaries donated in honor of those who lost their battle with cancer, and those who are still fighting, are lit. The relay ends with a fight back ceremony in which relayers take their final lap and pledge to continue to support cancer research.
Page 2 of 2 - If you go
What: Relay for Life kickoff meeting
When: Feb. 21 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Western Plains Medical Complex HR office, 108 Ross Blvd.
For more information: Contact Corry Israel at (785) 249-7541, or visit www.relayforlife.org.
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