Susan Smalley & Lisa Parker share past successes and plans for 2006 Relay at Soldotna Chamber
The 2006 Central Peninsula Relay for Life is planned for June 2-3 at Skyview High School. Organizers Lisa Parker and Susan Smalley shared some past successes and ambitious goals for this year’s event last week at the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce noon luncheon meeting at the Riverside House. According to Parker, Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature activity which offers everyone in the community an opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer. “Relay for Life represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated,” said Parker.
Signature program aims at killing cancer
Relay for Life began in May of 1985 when a surgeon from Tacoma, Washington, Dr. Gordy Klatt, decided to raise money for his local American Cancer Society by doing something he enjoyed; running marathons. He spent 24 hours circling the University of Puget Sound’s track and raised $27,000 for the fight against cancer. In 2004 nationally Relay for Life raised over $9 million dollars for cancer research Last year Parker reported that the Central Peninsula Relay for Life raised almost $70,000 and was recognized as one of the top fundraisers in the Pacific Northwest for the American Cancer Society. With 15 different committees that include corporate sponsors, and an anticipated 50 teams participating this year’s goal is to raise $75,000 says Parker. “I can tell you there are various competitions amongst the teams as to who will be the top fundraiser,” said Parker.
Cancers survivors themselves, Parker and Smalley hope this will be a record breaking year for fund raising as well as a memorable community experience, “We truly hope more people will participate than ever before and the best part for me is the first lap which is the survivors lap where caregivers and friends are invited to come and cheer those whose lives have been changed by cancer. We’re happy that there are more survivors each year and that we can see the fruit of our efforts and a turn a round in past perception that cancer was a death sentence,” said Smalley.
Education is a huge part of the whole event process says Smalley and the Relay for Life is one time where everyone can come to a specific place and share with people who are going through a similar experience and find out about the many available resources. This year’s Relay for Life will begin at 6:00pm at Skyview High School with the survivors lap. At 11:00pm will be the traditional Ceremony of Hope where hundreds of luminaries, white paper bags weighted with sand and a lighted candle, are purchased in the name of a loved one in whose honor or memory the candle is lit.
For information on how to get involved with this year’s Relay for Life contact Susan Smalley, Lisa Parker, or Steve Horn, or go to www.relayforlife.org.
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