An awesome event

Thursday, July 12, 2007

In this day and age, there is rarely a person whose life has not been impacted in some way by the disease of cancer. Some have lost loved ones to the disease while others are engaged in battling it.

On a personal note, I just returned from a week's vacation to Michigan. An important part of that visit was the chance I had to spend time with my Uncle Bob who is currently fighting lung cancer. It was a blessing to talk to Bob and witness his determination to win his battle with cancer. He showed amazing strength even though he is currently in the middle of chemotherapy. The hundreds of stairs leading from our cottage to the beach didn't slow him down much, and a highlight of our trip was spending afternoons along the shores of Lake Michigan with Bob. My uncle is an inspiration to me and my family, and his courage makes me realize that attitude means everything when life throws an obstacle in your way. Bob refuses to harbor any doubts that he'll beat cancer, and this "never-give-up attitude" is one we all can learn from and follow. I love my uncle and it is his courage and perseverance that I'll be honoring as we approach Friday night's Relay for Life event in Cassville.

A cure for cancer is something we continue to pray for, and Relay for Life is a hands-on way people can get involved in raising money to fund cancer research that will lead to a cure one day. This is the sixth year that the Cassville community has hosted an all-night Relay event. Last year, the effort raised $53,000 for the American Cancer Society, and this year, the local organizing committee hopes to raise $60,000.

Relay for Life is an event that everyone should experience at least once. The Cassville Democrat and Baywash car wash combined efforts last year and organized our first Relay team. Some of you will remember that I wrote an editorial about the experience, because it was such a positive one. We're co-sponsoring another team this year and are looking forward to our second all-nighter at the Cassville football field. The event offers plenty of activities and entertainment, but also provides several more serious moments dedicated to celebrating the lives of survivors and remembering those who lost their lives to cancer. One of the most touching parts of the evening is the lighting of luminarias, which circle the field and spell out HOPE in the stands. It's also awesome to witness the survivors' lap, which marks the start of the Relay for Life event.

The Relay of Life is open to all members of the community. Even if you are not involved with a Relay team, we hope you'll come out to the football field on Friday night to experience what the Relay is all about. You can walk a few laps around the track, talk with some of the survivors in attendance and visit the teams' tents, which will offer plenty of food, drinks and games for all ages.

It's also not too late to donate to the local Relay for Life effort and help local volunteers meet their fundraising goal. Donations will be accepted at the Relay event with all proceeds benefitting the American Cancer Society. We hope to see you Friday night. If you do attend, don't forget to stop by the "KWK and the Paper Gang" tent to say hello. We'll be there - all night long!