By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: March 2009
The Relay For Life Rogers County planning committee includes (L to R): (Front Row) Kamie George, Renetta Harrison, Keara Stevens, (Back Row) Phyllis Kincade, Cathy Cooksey, Peggy Armstrong and Tina Kizer.
Relay For Life brings more than 3.5 million people together to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and empower individuals and communities to fight back against this disease. Relay For Life unites people from all walks of life to raise much-needed funds and awareness. No matter who you are, there’s a place for you at Relay, and corporate sponsorships and teams are still needed.
The 2009 Relay For Life Rogers County will begin with its opening ceremony on Claremore Main Street at Will Rogers Blvd. on Friday, May 1 at 7 p.m. It concludes at 7 a.m. Saturday with a short closing ceremony.
This is an opportunity to celebrate life. Team members will take turns walking laps on Main Street throughout the night. Because cancer never sleeps, each team is asked to have a representative on the course at all times during the event.
This year’s committee has worked long and hard planning the event. Committee members include co-chairs Kamie George and Renetta Harrison, Keara Stevens, Phyllis Kincade, Cathy Cooksey, Peggy Armstrong and Tina Kizer.
Survivor registration will begin at 5 p.m. Friday evening, and all cancer survivors will receive a t-shirt, a goodie bag and other door prizes donated by local merchants.
A Rockin’ to Recovery Benefit Concert will run from 5 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday. Musicians have volunteered their time and talents to help in the fight against cancer. You’ll be entertained with jazz, acoustic, bluegrass, Christian, rock, metal, alternative and blues.
Lots of activities will be going on for participants and the public. If you’ve never been to a Relay For Life event, you’re invited to join the fun at anytime, or better yet, plan to stay the entire 12 hours. Survivors will be treated at 5:30 p.m. to a free dinner donated by Boom-a-Rang Diner. A silent auction with lots of donated items will take place from 6 to 9 p.m., and anyone can bid on the merchandise. The survivor victory lap will immediately follow the conclusion of the opening ceremony.
At 8 p.m. will be a Hope Floats celebration in which those attending are invited to purchase balloons to be released into the evening skies. And from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., Gin’s Apple Dumplins will feature an all-you-can-eat breakfast for only $5. The menu includes pancakes, bacon or sausage, and coffee or juice.
All activities will cease for a short while at 10 p.m. for the traditional Luminaria ceremony. This is a time to remember those we have lost to cancer, to support those currently being treated, and to honor those who have fought the battle. It provides an opportunity for reflection on your own personal cancer-related experiences and to find hope.
Midnight will highlight a Fight Back ceremony symbolizing the emotional commitment we make, individually and as a community, to the fight against cancer. From midnight to 6 a.m. will be midnight madness games and activities for everyone. Entertainment and fundraising will continue, and everyone is invited to participate in the fun.
A closing ceremony and final lap at 7 a.m. on Saturday will mark the close of the Relay For Life Rogers County. Join others as we celebrate, remember, and fight back.
You can also help raise funds for the Relay by dining at Papa John’s Pizza on March 26 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., or by taking your family and friends to Thunder Bowl on April 24 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Both merchants will be donating 15 percent of their earnings on those days to Relay for Life Rogers County.
In addition, the Elks Lodge is hosting a fundraising breakfast on March 28 from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Tickets are $4, and the menu includes pancakes, sausage, bacon, juice and coffee. They are donating 50 percent of the proceeds to Relay For Life Rogers County. Call (918) 341-3727 to order your tickets early or to find out more about Relay.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.