Relay for Life event moved to Hooker stadium for 2005 cancer-fighting event

By Sheila Blankenship

Relay For Life committee

The 10th annual American Cancer Society High Plains Relay For Life will be the first, and probably the only, to be held in Hooker.

With the track at Tiger Stadium in Guymon under contruction, this signature fund-raising event for the American Cancer Society has been moved just 20 miles down Highway 54 and everyone's invited to attend.

The ACS High Plains Relay For Life, set for overnight July 29-30, will begin with opening ceremonies at 7 p.m. Friday with the closing ceremony at 7 a.m. Saturday.

“We invite everyone to come out to Bulldog Stadium in Hooker and join the fight against cancer by supporting Relay For Life,” Renee Ellis, event chair, said.

Anyone who has never experienced Relay For Life is especially urged to visit and see what all the tents, games, music, candles, pinãtas and spirit sticks are all about. They will also discover a fair amount of laughter and tears plus good reason to get involved in next year's event.

Cancer survivor recognition ceremonies begin at 8 p.m. and everyone is invited to honor local and area survivors. Any cancer survivor who has not received a letter is urged to contact Ellis at 580-338-2314 and add their name to the invitation list.

Three survivor receptions are also being held before the Relay with one planned in Guymon for Texas County survivors, one in Boise City for Cimarron County survivors and one in Elkhart, Kan. for Morton County survivors.

Relay For Life Teams from Elkhart, Kan. and from Hooker, Guymon, Hardesty, Texhoma, Boise City and the surrounding area will gather in Hooker for this annual 12-hour celebration of fund-raising success for the American Cancer Society and also pause to honor cancer survivors and remember cancer victims.

At 10 p.m. the fiesta mood of the Relay For Life will shift into one of quiet reflection and remembrance as hundreds of luminarias lining the track are lit. Each luminaria sack bears the name of one cancer survivor or one who has died from cancer and holds a candle, a light of hope.

It is a moving tribute to loved ones and everyone whose life has ever been touched by cancer is invited to attend the ceremony and/or buy a luminaria in the name of someone special.

It is hoped thousands of people will have a part in this year¹s Relay for Life as contributors, team members, support personnel and visitors.

Joining the fight against cancer can be as easy as buying cupcakes at a Relay For Life bake sale, making a free-will donation at a hot dog feed, buying a luminaria or coming out to Bulldog Stadium July 29-30 to meet the survivors, team members and ACS staffers.

With just over five weeks to Relay, team members are reminded of the key role they each play in helping finance the fight against cancer. The July 26 meeting will be the last chance to turn in funds toward the team totals.

Teams who raise $1,500 are each named to the ACS Bronze Fund-Raising Club. “For a team of 15 members, each person only has to raise $100 for their team to be honored,” Ellis added. Teams reaching higher levels of support are named to the Silver, Gold and Platinum Fund-Raising Clubs while individuals who turn in $1,000 or more to the Relay For Life are recognized with a special t-shirt.

All proceeds of the luminaria sales plus the Relay For Life team funds go directly to the American Cancer Society to fund vital research, patient services and advocacy and public education and awareness.

Generous corporate sponsors cover all expenses of the Relay For Life so that every donation goes directly to the American Cancer Society.

“Everyone wants to stop cancer,” Ellis concluded. “Relay For Life is one way for anyone and everyone to help make that a reality.”

It is not too late to form a Relay For Life team and all teams are welcome to join the fund-raising and fun. For information, prospective team captains may call Eldon Gragert at 580-253-6541 or any Relay For Life team member.

Boise City News
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