By: Carol Beck-Round | Category: Special Interest | Issue: January 2012
Cancer survivors line up on the RSU campus last year to lead the first lap of the Rogers County Relay For Life. This is an inspirational time when survivors circle the track together and help everyone celebrate the victories they have achieved over cancer.
“Cancer does not discriminate and it’s important to get the message out,” says Lyndse Tatum, co-chair of this year’s Rogers County Relay For Life. Since 1996, Rogers County has participated in the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life to raise money for cancer research. Last year, 29 teams and 379 registered participants, including 85 cancer survivors, took steps at Rogers State University to help save lives. This year’s event is scheduled for April 27 and 28 at the campus once again.
“Everyone has been affected by cancer in some way or another, whether you personally have been affected or known someone who has,” says Tatum.
Relay For Life is not only a time to fight back against cancer, it is a time for celebrating survivors and remembering loved ones who lost their battle. “The money raised from all the funds from the teams goes to research and to programs the American Cancer Society provides to those who are going through cancer treatments,” Tatum says. “Some of those programs included are the ‘Look Good…Feel Better’ program, transportation for those who are not able to make it to treatment, and lodging for patients who might have to travel far away for treatments.”
Rogers County Relay For Life will kick off the 2012 campaign at the RSU Hillcat basketball games on January 14 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. “Everyone is encouraged to come get more information on how to start or join a team,” she says. “Also, if you or someone you know is a survivor, you can register them for our annual survivor luncheon and recognition.”
On April 21, Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs will host a “Relay at the Races” for the survivor luncheon. “It’s going to be a great day filled with food, horse races, fundraising, and lots of fun,” says Tatum. “We are going to have a horse race dedicated to all the survivors and even do a big group picture down on the track. If you are a survivor or know someone who is and would like to register them for the survivor lunch, please contact us at
Last year’s Rogers County Relay For Life raised $75, 534, with $3,750 of that coming from the live and silent auctions held in conjunction with the walk. “We had many great items last year, including themed baskets like the date-night themed baskets containing movies and gift certificates to restaurants and massages,” she adds. “Some big ticket items included a sailboat cruise. But the autographed Garth Brooks guitar was the big hit of the night.”
The live and silent auctions will return this year on the night of the relay. “Our auction is always a big hit and this year should be no different,” Tatum says. “From my personal experience, and one of the reasons I got involved with relay so many years ago, is because I don’t want to watch another person I love have to suffer through cancer. Sometimes we think we can’t make a difference, but we can. Joining a team or starting your own team and raising money are such a rewarding feeling. I’m fighting for my friend who is no longer with us. I am fighting for sisters, brothers, moms, dads and grandparents – I am fighting for you! When it’s two o’clock in the morning, I am walking that track and thinking how I want to go home and sleep, I remember that cancer doesn’t sleep and that I am walking towards a world with more birthdays. It may seem so small, the act of walking a track, raising money, but sometimes the smallest acts are the biggest ones of all.”
For more information on the American Cancer Society, Relay For Life and the programs available, please contact Courtney Naylor, ACS staff partner, at (918) 477-5417 or email eat0@eau0eav0eaw0 if you would like to start or join a team.
After 30 years in public school education, Carol Round retired and moved from Grand Lake to Claremore, Oklahoma in 2005, where she writes a weekly faith-based column which runs in 14 Oklahoma newspapers as well as several national and international publications. Three volumes of her columns have been compiled into collections: A Matter of Faith, Faith Matters and by FAITH alone. She has also written Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God and a companion workbook, The 40-Day Challenge. This past year she has written three children’s books, a series called Nana’s 3 Jars, to teach children about the value of giving, saving and spending money. All of Carol’s books are available through Amazon. In addition to writing her weekly column, authoring books and speaking to women’s groups, she writes for Value News. She also blogs regularly at www.carolaround.com. When she is not writing or speaking, she loves spending time with her three grandchildren, working in her flowerbeds, shooting photos, volunteering at her church or going on mission trips overseas, and hiking. She is also an avid reader and loves working crosswords and trying to solve Sudoku puzzles.