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Join the fight against cancer

Thursday, July 16, 2009

On Friday, community members will gather at the Cassville Football Stadium to raise awareness and funds for a cause that has likely touched all Barry Countians at one time. This year, 32 teams have joined the fight against cancer by pledging to spend 12 hours walking the track around the football field and collecting donations for the American Cancer Society.

We encourage all area residents to support the eighth annual South Barry County Relay For Life, which will begin at 7 p.m. on July 17. Local cancer survivors will kick off the ceremony by completing an honorary lap around the track. The opening ceremony gives community members an opportunity to cheer on local men, women and children who have fought and survived cancer.

The Relay will also offer a basket auction, the cancer awareness-raising Fight Back ceremony, a comical queen contest and the luminaria ceremony, which honors those who are still fighting or have lost the battle with cancer.

Local residents who attend the Relay For Life will have a variety of opportunities to support the event and the American Cancer Society. Luminarias are sold until dark, and donations are accepted throughout the event. Teams also offer a variety of concessions and games to raise additional funds. Of course, you don't have to bring a lot of cash to enjoy the event. Residents are always encouraged to come out and walk a few laps to show their support in the fight against cancer.

Funds that are collected during the annual Relay For Life provide a variety of services for cancer patients in Barry County each year. Services provided locally in the past have included: personal healthcare; education; nutritional supplements; gas gift cards; lodging assistance; wigs; and general information.

On a national level, the American Cancer Society has led the way in cancer research for over 60 years. The Society, which is the largest source of private, not-for-profit cancer research funds in the United States, has spent over $3.3 billion in cancer research since 1946.

The American Cancer Society also provides the most accurate, up-to-date information on cancer through its 24-hour hotline, 1-800-ACS-2345, and website, www.cancer.org. Trained specialists are available seven days a week to answer questions and link callers with resources in their communities.

In addition, the Society strives to influence public policies, laws and regulations to finance cancer research, ensure access to quality healthcare, improve the management of cancer pain and symptoms, reduce cancer incidence rates and deaths and provide early detection and treatment options.

With the help of local community members across the country, the Society works toward its goal of preventing cancer, saving lives and diminishing suffering.

Join the fight against cancer this weekend by taking part in the South Barry County Relay For Life. Supporting this event could one day save the life of your neighbor, loved one or friend.

Lindsay Reed