Minden Press-Herald

Oct 02nd

Relay for Life® seeking walkers

The same week she had her last cancer treatment, Martha Tucker walked a lap as a cancer survivor during a Relay for Life.

That was approximately four years ago and Tucker, along with other survivors and volunteers still give more than just their time to this event sponsored by the American Cancer Society of America.

In efforts to get more teams, committee members and more sponsors a Relay for Life community interest meeting was held Tuesday afternoon in downtown Minden.

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is an event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease.

Alma Lennear said the first call she made after the news of her cancer was to the American Cancer Society. Now almost 16 years later, the local artist and owner of Alma's Art Studio, sells her oil and acrylic paintings to raise funds for ACS.

It's not enough for Lennear to work for the cause primarily in Minden she also travels from festival to festival selling her art. Haynesville's Celebration of Butterflies, September 10, is next on Lennear's schedule.

It's possible she will be the easiest vendor to spot, as she will be the one dressed as a butterfly.

"I like to dress up in a costume to promote the theme of each festival," she said.

Never missing an opportunity to raise funds for ACS, Lennear said, "I ask for a $1 donation, if you take my picture."

Georgia Walker, a nine-year-cancer survivor, attended Tuesday's meeting because she said this event has allowed her to talk to people she may never have met otherwise. Walker attended the meeting representing two teams, St. Rest Baby Boomers and the Vintage Car Club.

During a Relay for Life event, teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, fairground or parking lot and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Because cancer never sleeps, Relays are overnight events up to 24 hours in length.

According to Jennifer Spurlock, event chair, coordinators are still looking for the perfect spot to hold this year's event.

Presently, she said, she has been in communication with Wal-Mart to use their parking lot. The idea would be to rope off the area closest to Homer Road where those passing by or those entering the parking lot may see the event and hopefully get involved.

Other location ideas discussed at the meeting were the parking lot in front of Stage and Fanette's or the lot in front of Ark-La-Tex Collision, all on Homer Road.

Getting locals involved as committee members or as part of a team is not an easy task, according to Tucker. It's possible she said that it's not understood how the Relay for Life supports locals diagnosed with cancer.

"The American Cancer Society gives to St. Jude, and it helps provide gas, meals and hotels for those that may have to travel for treatment," she said.

The goal is to have 14 teams participate in this year's fund-raising events, Spurlock said. A team can be made up of office personnel, a family, friends, a church or a combination of all four.

During a Relay for Life event, one can expect to celebrate through the Survivors Lap, remember with the Luminaria Ceremony and fight back by making a personal commitment to save lives by taking up the fight against cancer.

Relay for Life 2012 will be April 13 through 14, and this year's theme is One World, One Hope. The next planning meeting will be September 13 from noon until 1 p.m. at Minden Medical Center's Education Room, 729 Main Street.






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