The South Barry County Relay For Life Committee will host Country Kickin' Cancer at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center in Cassville at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28.
"The event is for every one of all ages to enjoy," said Julie Grillone, South Barry County Relay For Life Committee chair, "This is the ideal time for people who know they are going to have teams at the Relay for Life event this summer to come and pick up their team packets.
"It's also great for people who want to know more about Relay and might want to get involved in some way," said Grillone. "We will have an information booth set up just for this purpose."
Country Kickin' Cancer will also offer a chili supper and live musical entertainment by Barry County Connection.
"It will be an evening filled with great music and food, a wholesome night with family and friends," said Grillone. "There is no charge, but donations will gladly be accepted. Occasionally during the evening, we will remind everyone of the information booth and the committee members that are available to answer any questions about support for anyone dealing with a cancer diagnosis."
Grillone said she hopes the event will give area community members more information about the American Cancer Society (ACS), which offers support and services to local individuals fighting cancer.
"Tremendous amounts of money come right back into Barry County," said Grillone. "People just have to ask. Due to privacy laws, the ACS can't reach out to individuals without their consent. That's why events like this are important.
"I want the attendees to go home and tell everyone they know who is dealing with cancer that there is help available," said Grillone. "I want them to understand every little effort, every dollar that is given, has direct impact on this community. We are helping our neighbors."
In 2001, ACS provided more than $31,550 in services to Barry County residents. Last year's Relay raised around $29,500, which only covered a portion of ACS's costs.
In Barry County, 68 individuals received $50 gas cards and 19 patients received wigs. Five individuals spent a total of 202 nights at the Hope Lodge, and five individuals attended the Look Good Feel Better Program. Around 40 people took advantage of the ACS information hotline.
"Almost everyone of us has had a loved one impacted by cancer or had it ourselves," said Grillone. "Due to the society's promotion of cancer screenings, cervical cancer moved from the second leading cause of cancer death in women to the 13th and breast cancer death rates are on the decline.
"We can fight back," said Grillone. "The American Cancer Society is the largest nonprofit source of cancer research funding. The Relay organization has one of the lowest operating costs in the world. It has helped fund life-saving drugs and drugs that have improved quality of life. We are making a difference."
Country Kickin' Cancer will kick off 2012 Relay funding. This year's South Barry County Relay For Life event will be quite different from events held locally in the past.
"Everything about our event is changing this year," said Grillone. "It will be held Saturday, June 16. We will be back at the Cassville Wildcats Football Field, and this is the very first time in Relay history that we are allowed to hold it during the day. So the Relay for Life event will be between the hours of noon and midnight."
For more information about Country Kickin' Cancer or the South Barry County Relay For Life, call Grillone at 846-7433. More information on ACS can be received by calling 1-800-227-2345 or visiting cancer.org.