|8/3/2013 3:05:00 AM|
Bureau County Relay for Life sets lofty, admirable goals
|Grant Bosnich performs an original song prior to the opening ceremonies Friday at the Bureau County Relay for Life. Bosnich, one of a varied lineup of performers due to play throughout the evening, also performed the Star Spangled Banner to kick off the evening. NewsTribune photos by Genna Ord|
|Dan Fisher, from Dover high-fives a child on his way to the track for the Survivor’s Lap Friday at Hall High School for the Bureau County Relay for Life. Fisher is a five-year survivor of cancer.|
Hundreds of people gathered at the Hall High School track in Spring Valley to celebrate fighting cancer and remember those who have survived or lost the fight.
For Shirley Morse, Relay for Life of Bureau County chairman, the event is always emotional — she lost her husband to brain cancer and her mother is a breast cancer survivor. Morse walked the caregiver lap with her mother to celebrate that the fight continues.
“It’s important because it gives survivors a feeling of support and solidarity and it allows us to remember those who have died because of cancer and a way to fight towards a cure,” said Morse earlier in the week.
At the opening ceremony, master of ceremonies Gary Swanson said, “this is an amazing gathering.”
He reminded the crowd they were joining 4 million people worldwide in raising money to help fight cancer. Swanson said 100 years ago people learned that what helped cancer was silence, compliance and business as usual. He added that silence would not win the fight, but action would.
Swanson said everyone was at the relay to put and end to cancer and their efforts were helping. He said there has been a 20 percent decrease in cancer death since the early 1990s. Relay for Life’s goal is to create more birthdays through fighting cancer and helping survivors spend more years with those they love.
After the opening remarks, people lined the walkway as 120 survivors of cancer walked down to the track. Each stop to announce their names and how many years they were a survivor. They also received a medal and then walked the track as part of the survivors lap.
One of the survivors who walked the lap was Spring Valley Mayor Walt Marini who is a 2½-year kidney cancer survivor. He said he did it as a tribute to all the survivors. He says the event is important for the community because it keeps cancer and cancer survivors in the forefront of everybody’s mind.
“It lets them know there is hope,” he said.
Morse said it takes a year to plan each event, and she will meet once or twice a month with her committee members. The group eventually settled on a theme for this year as “Monopoly: Cure it All.”
“We just thought it would be fun,” said Julie Anderson, committee member.
The campsites for each of the 23 teams had Monopoly-property names, including Park Place and Illinois Avenue. Themed events also were planned for the 12-hour event which included a jail, Monopoly money and chance cards. Anderson said they even found little themed gummies to place on the cupcakes.
Many of the teams spruced up their tents with Monopoly-themed items including a table that was made into a Monopoly board. Each team also made a team sign and walked it around the lap; one team themed its sign after the electric company utility property.
“It’s just fun seeing what the people came up with,” said Anderson. “It’s fun to see everyone coming together.”
Morse said the goal for the night was $88,000.
At sundown Friday, she did not know if they reached it.
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