Relay For Life seeks survivors

Every year at Relay For Life of St. Francois County, survivors take the first lap around the "walking course" at Mineral Area College's Park Hills campus. This year's fundraising event for the American Cancer Society takes place from 6 p.m. June 8 through 6 a.m. June 9.

Preparations are well underway for the American Cancer Society-sponsored Relay For Life of St. Francois County (RFLSFC) — including the search for survivors and their caregivers who will receive special recognition on the evening of the fundraising event.

Set to begin at 6 p.m. June 8 and continue through the night until 6 a.m. June 9, RFLSFC will once again take place on Mineral Area College’s Park Hills campus.

RFLSFC will be held about a month-and-a-half earlier than in years past. The steering committee decided to move the event to earlier in the summer in hopes that the temperature will be more comfortable for the survivors and everyone else participating

“Relay For Life is a celebration of cancer survivorship and a fun way to raise the vital funds needed to help find a cure for cancer,” said Sonya Bahr, RFLSFC event co-lead. It will celebrate the lives of so many local residents who have survived cancer, while offering the hope of finding a cure.

“Anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer and their caregivers are encouraged to join the celebration. The opening ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. with a survivors’ lap, where cancer survivors and their caregivers will take a victory lap around the track. The involvement of local cancer survivors is proof of the progress that has been made in improving cancer survival rates and the quality of life following cancer treatment.”

According to Bahr, a candlelight ceremony will be taking place at approximately 9 p.m. that Friday night to honor cancer survivors and remember those who lost the fight against the disease. Luminaria bags for the ceremony can be purchased at the event.

“Relay For Life is a community event where teams and individuals come together to honor, celebrate and raise funds and awareness in an effort to free the world from the pain and suffering of cancer,” she said. “Money raised will help the American Cancer Society provide free information and support for people facing the disease today, and fund cancer research that will help protect future generations.”

Last year’s event — the 21st held in St. Francois County since 1996 — raised around $70,000.

Bahr said a full agenda of entertainment is planned that will include music, team fundraising activities, fun theme laps and contests throughout the night. She added that RFLSFC is a handicapped-accessible event.

Cancer survivors are encouraged to RSVP by visiting www.relayforlife.org/stfrancoiscomo.

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Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or kjenkins@dailyjournalonline.com


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