These ladies participate in one of the dances throughout the night at a previous Relay for Life in Liberal. This year’s Relay will take place June 10 in Light Park. L&T file photo/Brooke Jenkins
• Special to the Leader & Times
The American Cancer Society Relay for Life is one important way to make a difference in the fight against cancer.
This year, nearly three million Relay participants in 4,200 local communities across the country will raise millions of dollars to fuel the ACS mission of eliminating cancer through research, education, advocacy and patient services.
The Liberal Relay for Life Committee is in great need for donations to the American Cancer Society in sponsorship for the Relay for Life event Saturday, June 10, at Light Park.
The goal for this year’s event is $22,000. Liberal currently has a population of approximately 20,500 people.
“If each person in our community donates only $1.25, we will more than reach our goal,” said ACS Staff Partner Lisa Nelson.
What happens with the support for Relay for Life, and how does it benefit people in the community? Here are just a few examples:
o Finding a cure – To date, the American Cancer Society has spent approximately $3 billion on research. That research has led to advances such as the bone marrow transplant, the use of drugs as Tmoxifen and Gleevec on certain cancers and the Pap smear crusade that educated women on the importance of the early detection of cervical cancer that have positively impacted and even saved the lives of many people with cancer;
o Spreading the word – Volunteers educate their neighbors about cancer prevention and early detection, two things that save lives;
o Calling for change – Society volunteer advocates work tirelessly with elected officials to make cancer issues a top priority. Their work has helped expand insurance coverage for cancer screenings and put more money into cancer research to find a cure.
Most recently, President Obama signed into law a measure that will save lives by lowering smoking rates and reducing tobacco consumption while giving millions of uninsured children access to quality health care.
“This victory is the result of years of leadership on tobacco control issues by your American Cancer Society and its advocacy affiliate, the ACS Cancer Action Network,” Nelson said. “ACS CAN launched the current push to increase the federal tobacco tax in 2007, and with the strong support of cancer advocates nationwide, we convinced elected officials from both political parties to pass this bill.”
o Lending support – For those who have been diagnosed with cancer, knowing the facts and having the resources to get through treatment and recovery are essential. The ACS is available to help anytime, 24 hours a day, seven days a week; and
o Local services – Seward County residents benefit from many services the American Cancer Society offers: Hope Lodge and the guest room program, information, Look Good...Feel Better, nutritional supplement, Road to Recovery, wigs and transportation assistance. In 2008, 135 services were provided to 69 Seward County residents.
“The American Cancer Society spends the funds raised through Relay for Life on research education, advocacy and patient service efforts that benefit everyone in the community,” Nelson said.
The Relay for Life is a fun-filled overnight event that celebrates survivorship and raises money for research and programs of the American Cancer Society.
Relay participants are able to celebrate those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost and empower individuals and communities to fight back against a disease that takes so much.
“Please help us support all of those who have battled cancer and remember those we have lost by donating to and participating in the Relay for Life,” Nelson said.
There are several ways to donate including giving spare change by dropping it in one of the Relay for Life piggy banks located in businesses across town.
“You may also become part of the ‘Dream Team’ by donating $25 to support the Relay,” Nelson said. “As part of the Dream Team, your name will be displayed at the Relay for Life walk on June 10.”
For more information about donating or participation, contact Lauren at 624-8491 or (316) 644-3278. Donations can also be sent by check to ACS Relay For Life of Seward County in care of Mary Young, Route 2, Box 111B, Turpin, OK 73950.