By TYLER MASK
With Relay For Life right around the corner, the planning committee of the 2014 Relay For Life of Palo Pinto County is hosting a dinner and auction, March 21, starting at 5:30 p.m., and the 2014 Survivor and Caregiver Dinner, March 28, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The dinner and auction will take place at Southside Church of Christ.
“We are hoping that we will have a big show of support from the community,” Relay For Life of Palo Pinto County's Karen Wells said.
All local survivors, individuals who have survived cancer, are invited to the SCD. Additionally, one caregiver per survivor is invited to join in on the celebration. There will be dinner, dessert and door prizes.
Although RSVPs are not required for the SCD, RFL PPC requests survivors do so in order to have enough food and seating prepared.
PPC began participating in RFL more than 19 years ago. This year's relay for life, April 25, 6 p.m. to midnight, will take place at the Mineral Wells High School Track.
Since the original “relayer,” Dr. Gordy Klatt, walked and ran for 24 hours in May of 1985, raising $27,000 for the American Cancer Society, RFL has grown into a worldwide effort, having raised some $5 billion through the years.
Each year more than 3.5 million people in more than 5,000 communities in the U.S. and additional communities in 19 other countries participate in RFL, Wells said.
“The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is a life-changing 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,” Wells said.
RFL is considered an overnight community fundraising walk. Teams of people gather together and camp out by the track during the night and take turns walking. The night is family friendly, filled with food, games and activities throughout the relay. The Survivors Lap kicks off the event, where all cancer survivors present take the first lap around the track.
“Because cancer never sleeps, Relays have been overnight events up to 24 hours in length in the past.” Wells said. “The committee is very excited about the 2014 relay event because of the new time, and we are hoping that with the new time from 6 p.m. to midnight that we can get more people to stay until the end.”
For those wishing to participate, RFL's website recommends making a list of potential donors. Once a list is complete, letters and emails should be sent out, asking family and friends to help. As a way to break the ice with potential donors, RFL also recommends participants donate whatever they choose and to ask contributors to match the price.
Individuals wanting to fundraise as a team can get as creative as they want. RFL suggests baby-sitting, movie nights, garage sales, dinners or car washes as a few examples.
With the constant change in technology, donating is becoming easier each day. Participants can download the RFL App, placing everything they need for the fundraiser at the tips of their fingers. Donors can go online and give directly to the specific participants, teams or events.
Additionally, there is an option to make a general donation to RFL.
“Thanks to Relay participants, we are creating a world with more birthdays – a world where cancer can't claim another year of anyone's life,” Wells said.
For more information or to RSVP for the dinner, contact Christy Graham at 940-745-1217 or email@example.com or contact Wells at 940-452-2813 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To sign up for the 2014 PPC RFL or to donate, visit www.relayforlife.org/palopintocotx.