Archive for Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Relay for Life set for Friday

April 30, 2003

Candles will light the way for walkers during this weekend's Relay for Life.

Hundreds of luminaries will line the track at Liston Stadium, each one symbolizing hope in the fight against cancer while remembering and honoring the people that have and are continuing to battle the disease.

"There's an emotional impact with them," Star Novak, Relay for Life co-chair said of the luminaries. "Some people cry, some people just laugh and smile and hug.

"It's a visual reminder of those that have lost and those that are still here," Novak said. "The candle always seems to be a symbol for hope."

Susan Hoffman, Relay for Life co-chair, agreed the luminaries were powerful, visual images.

"It's kind of like looking through a scrapbook of all the people who have battled cancer," she said.

Relay for Life participants will have all night to look through the "scrapbook" as walkers circle the track in an annual effort to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

Baldwin's Relay for Life will kick off at 7 p.m. Friday at Liston Stadium. Cancer survivor and Baldwin resident Alice Ann Callahan Russell will be this year's guest speaker.

Hoffman said Relay for Life is a fun event despite the serious reason for having it.

"It's sort of like a carnival," she said.

There will be entertainment throughout the night, including bands, games, karaoke, a dance performance and a moonwalk.

"We're going to try to make it something for everybody," she said.

Later in the evening, names of cancer survivors and victims will be read as the luminaries are lit around the track.

"It's bittersweet for some people," Novak said. "It's a chance to honor those and remember those who have gone before you."

Of course, there will be walking -- and a lot of it.

One member from each of the 23 teams will be walking the track at all times throughout the evening until the relay ends a 7 a.m. Saturday symbolizing refusal to stop fighting cancer.

Each team has collected donations that will be sent to the American Cancer Society. Last year Relay for Life collected more than $26,000. Hoffman said she knew of one team this that had already collected around $900.

"For a community of this size per capita, we sure do raise a lot of money," Novak said.

It's not too late for those who still want to contribute to this year's Relay for Life. Those who would like to make a donation or purchase a luminary in honor or memory of someone with cancer can contact Hoffman at 594-4514 or Novak at 594-4509.

The public is also invited to attend Relay for Life at any time throughout the event.

"It's important to honor those who have fought the battle and those that have survived," Novak said. "We hope to see a lot of Baldwin out there,"

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