It's time again For ABC Wednesday. If you aren't participating in ABC Wednesday, you are missing out on a lot of fun. This week the letter is"R". R is for Relay For Life. The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is a life-changing event that brings together more than 3.5 million people across the country each year to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against a disease that takes too much.
My wife and I are co-chairs of the Polk County Relay For Life. The event was originally scheduled for April 17th, but on April 9th a tornado devastated a large part of Mena including Janssen Park where the Relay was to be held.
MENA TORNADO DAMAGE
The Relay For Life has been rescheduled for May 29th. Most of the 28 teams that were set to participate on the original date plan to be there on the 29th.
U.S.E.M. FEDERAL CREDIT UNION TEAM
What is going to happen that night? The teams will set up at the park with fundraisng ideas. There will be plenty of food, and lots of other fun activities.
The entire community is invited to come to the park and help celebrate. The evening kicks off with the Survivor Lap. Relay is a big celebration to celebrate our cancer survivors. Over 100 have signed up with us to walk in that opening Survivor lap.
We also honor Caregivers. To be the physical and emotional support for a cancer patient is a tough but very important job, and we honor those individuals.
After these special laps around the park, the teams start walking with the goal of keeping at least one person from each team on the track at all times. Relay starts at 6:00 P.M. and continues until Saturday morning with the closing ceremonies starting at 10:00 A.M. We go through the night because cancer never sleeps.
All evening there are lots of activities. There will be live music with a great program being put together by Richie Owens.
Highlighting the evening is a luminaria Ceremony of Hope held after dark to honor cancer survivors and to remember loved ones lost to cancer. The luminaria candles line the track and are left burning throughout the night.
Last year local Relay For Life team members raised over $60,000.00. To give you a bit of an idea of what the money is used for, here are the largest categories. Patient Support 20%; Prevention 20%; Detection and Treatment 16%; Research 14%.
Relay For Life brings people together and empowers them. Celebrate - Remember - Fight Back.
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I was born in 1956 in Madison, Tennessee, while my parents were attending Madison College. I grew up along the Front Range in Colorado, attending schools in Longmont, Brighton, Boulder and Loveland, Colorado. Two years after graduating from Campion Academy, I married my sweetheart, Regina. We lived in Loveland, Colorado for six years before moving to Mena in western Arkansas.
I love the people of Mena and the friendly easy going way of life here. I have owned and operated my own business since moving to Mena. I enjoy the natural beauty of western Arkansas and being out of doors.
My newspaper column in The Mena Star, An Arkie’s Faith, premiered on January 7, 2016. In March 2017, I published my first book, titled An Arkie's Faith, using articles from the column.