Take part in a global movement right in your own community by participating in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of LaGrange County. Relay for Life is the largest grassroots effort to fight cancer with more than 5,200 fundraising events around the world. In fact, nearly 1 in every 100 Americans participates in Relay for Life. This inspiring, family friendly event is planned for June 22 and 23, beginning at 9 a.m. at Lakeland High School in LaGrange.
Relay for Life events are held overnight as individuals and teams camp out at the high school track, with the goal of keeping at least one team member on the track at all times. Teams do most of their fundraising prior to the event and also hold creative fundraisers at their campsites during Relay. Relay brings together friends, families, businesses, hospitals, schools and faith-based groups, people from all walks of life, to further the American Cancer Society’s efforts to save lives by helping people stay well, by helping them get well, by finding cures and by fighting back.
“At Relay for Life, you can find comfort and support from others who have faced cancer,” said Suzanne Priestley, chairman of LaGrange County Relay for Life. “Relay for Life provides a chance to join with others in the community who are equally as passionate about fighting this disease until cancer no longer threatens the lives of those we love.”
Relay for Life includes survivor and caregiver celebrations to honor and recognize those who have battled cancer, whether personally or alongside a loved one. The Survivor’s Victory Lap where all survivors take to the track in unison will take place at 9 a.m. The lap is followed by a celebratory breakfast. The Luminaria ceremony takes place after sundown, honoring the community’s cancer survivors and those lost to the disease. Participants circle a track that is surrounded with glowing luminaria that bears the name of someone who has battled cancer.
The Fight Back Ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. and inspires Relayers to make a personal pledge of action such as quitting smoking, getting recommended cancer screenings or making other healthy lifestyle changes in order to fight back against the disease. This year’s ceremony will include a balloon release.
In addition to the event’s ceremonies that honor those who have battled cancer, there is an emphasis on educating the community about steps they can take to prevent cancer. Activities are planned to encourage leading an active lifestyle, maintaining a healthy weight and eating a plant-rich diet, all of which are shown to significantly reduce one’s risk for cancer with the potential to cut cancer deaths by one-third. A Health Fair will be held from 1-3 p.m.
The Red Cross will be there from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. for blood donations and Francine’s Friends Mobile Mammography Bus will also visit.
Anyone interested in forming a team, making a donation or participating in the event should contact Suzanne Priestley at 269-503-3810 or priestley.suzanne@ yahoo.com. There is also a website, www.relayforlife.com/lagra ngecountyin.
The next Team Captain Meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 13, at the LaGrange County Public Library on Spring St. in LaGrange.