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Relay For Life is cutting it ‘Footloose’ in 80s style

It’s the 80s.

Celebrating 25 years of Relay For Life, the Captains meeting last week took a step back a few decades to help inspire teams to go 80s for Relay July 24-25 at Mineral Area College.

Footloose. Carebears. The Lost Boys.

Complete with blue jean attire, jelly bracelets and shoes, Lynna Sago got the crowd motivated at MAC’s North College Center by starting the meeting with a slideshow of 80s fashion, songs, shows and more.

Each year teams are encouraged to pick a theme for their campsite at Relay.

The 2009 Relay season will mark the 25th year since Dr. Gordy Klatt, a colorectal surgeon, decided to personally raise money for the fight by doing something he enjoyed — running marathons. He ran throughout the night and raised $27,000 for the American Cancer Society. Now, Relays are held around the world.

“Get out your phones,” Stephanie Hatfield said. “Now dial 1-800-227-2345,” she continued. “Save as cancer info.”

This is a 24-hour number to call for those who don’t know where else to turn.

“There are volunteers there willing to speak to you 24/7, 365 days a year,” Hatfield said. “It is a start.”

Cindi Thurman took the floor and gave creative ideas of ways to advertise team’s upcoming fundraisers.

“Take out your phones again,” Thurman said. “I want everyone to call one person for a donation to their team.”

After a full room of cell phones, Thurman asked if anyone received any donations.

“$10,” one said.

“$25,” another said.

“$100!” Linda Miller exclaimed. Miller, with the team Family Affair, received a $100 donation from her mother.

Her daughter, Kyle McDowell said her grandmother agreed to a donation as well.

Thurman gave the idea of hosting a luminary crop party.

Participants could get with Dale and Arleen Jones to decorate luminaries in memory or in honor of their loved ones.

Luminaria may be ordered for $5 each by sending a check made out to the American Cancer Society to Dale and Arlene Jones, P. O. Box 136, Doe Run, Mo., 63601. Please indicate in whose honor or in whose memory the luminaria should be designated.

Other ideas were to talk to pizza places that might allow flyers to be placed on their boxes or to ask a school to send them home with the students in the backpacks.

Carla Rutledge hosted a mini-relay. She sent eggs home with students at a day care and they were returned with money. They sold T-shirts and had a mini makeshift track and raised $1100.

License to Cut Cancer Relay Team held a Benefit Night at Crossroads Steak House, where for several hours, members of the Relay team helped waitress and all of the proceeds from those hours as well as tips went to the team.

“It went really well,” Ruthie Pratte, Captain said. “There were four employees who donated their wages as well.”

Benefit Nights are new this year. Teams may ask local restaurants to have a Benefit Night where all or a portion of the proceeds benefit St. Francois County Relay For Life.

Businesses can also purchase track signs for $100 to display around the track the night of Relay. Contact Lisa Johnson at 573-756-6417 or see any Relay For Life team.

Corporate sponsorship is also needed to help keep Relay For Life going strong. Contact Jim and Judy Gillam at 573-358-7007 for details.

The next Team Captains meeting will take place at 6 p.m. May 26 at MAC’s North College Center. You may register online at

Jessica Crepps is a staff writer for the Daily Journal. You may reach her at 573-431-2010 ext. 143 or

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