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Join Relay for Life and make a difference; kickoff is today at 5:30 p.m. | Editorial
Times are tough right now. But for just a few dollars, and a little bit of your time, you can bolster cancer research and help provide services for local cancer patients.
The kickoff for Relay for Life is today — Feb. 23 — from, 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the San Juan Island Library. The kickoff is open to the public.
Relay for Life is July 24-25, 5:30 p.m. to 11 a.m., on the Friday Harbor High School football field. Last year’s event raised $72,000 for the American Cancer Society.
Walk in honor of a survivor. Light a candle in memory of someone who has passed on. Know that you are making a difference. Know that you are not alone: Relay teams are comprised of former and current cancer patients, those who have lost a loved one to cancer, as well as families, businesses and civic organizations.
By participating, you will help educate people so they know how to live better to reduce their cancer risk. And you will help fund research that will someday make cancer go the way of polio.
Relay for Life is held in thousands of communities across the United States, including Friday Harbor. Thanks in part to funds raised by Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society has about $500 million in research grants in effect today. Each year, the Friday Harbor Relay for Life contributes at least $60,000 toward that cause.
The result of those research dollars? The American Cancer Society has about $4 billion in research for a cure. In 1946, 25 percent of cancer patients lived at least five years after diagnosis; today, that rate is 60 percent.
This year, Relay for Life is a countywide event; Orcas Island will not have its own Relay this year, and Orcas Island teams are encouraged to sign up and participate in the Relay in Friday Harbor.
Relay teams collect donations and can win individual and team prizes for their efforts. Many participants camp at the relay site and, when they are not taking their turn walking, take part in fun activities and enjoy local entertainment.
Relay for Life brings the progress against cancer to the forefront. Many participants are our family, friends and neighbors who have dealt with cancer themselves. Their involvement is proof of the progress in not only reducing death rates, but also in improving the quality of life following cancer treatment.
Vicky Thalacker, who organizes flights for islanders undergoing cancer treatment on the mainland, said of the event last year, “The funds raised enable us to continue our investment in the fight against cancer through research, education, advocacy and patient services.”
To register for Relay for Life or to make a donation, contact chairwoman Christine Gabler Minney, 378-8928, firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about the American Cancer Society, call (800) ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org