By Paul Lehmann
Special to The PREVIEW
Our community’s 19th annual Archuleta County Relay for Life event is celebrating another birthday for our cancer survivors. This event memorializes members of our families, friends and neighbors who have lost their fight, honors those who have won the fight against this disease and provides support to those who are currently fighting cancer.
The celebration begins with our survivors prior to opening ceremony at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 18. Survivors and their caregivers will receive a light breakfast, including a birthday cake. It is not a problem if you haven’t preregistered; just come down to Town Park at 9 a.m., take a couple minutes to register and enjoy the morning. Remember this is your event.
We again welcome the public to join us for this year’s event in Town Park on Saturday. The opening ceremony begins at 10 a.m. with Relay’s traditional survivor’s lap and concludes at 9 p.m. with the heartfelt Luminaria Ceremony. Between the hours of 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., the many Relay teams will pack the track to show their support in the fight against cancer and you are welcome to join them.
Luminaria decorating will be available, giving everyone an opportunity to remember those affected by cancer and to participate in the evening’s Luminaria Ceremony. Multiple local restaurants and business will provide food; just come down to the park and enjoy.
There will be a silent auction, with items from many of our generous businesses, including a Relay for Life handmade quilt.
There will also be multiple booths with general and cancer-specific health care information staffed by Pagosa Springs Medical Center personnel.
In the afternoon, the Totally Happy Campers will be playing fun music to walk to and, who knows, maybe even to dance to. Other afternoon activities will include Rotary’s dunk tank complete with some current and aspiring elected officials. Later in the afternoon, there will be a challenging game of Relay Trivia Pursuit.
Through the efforts of our local volunteers, who make this relay our Relay, funds are provided for research for both early detection screenings and treatments.
Our community has many survivors still able to celebrate and, in 2015 alone, 47 local residents took advantage of the assistance given to cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. Patients have received fuel assistance, lodging cost assistance, road to recovery rides and support from a 24/7 emotional support and assistance hotline. All of this can be initiated by making a call to the America Cancer Society at (800) 227-2345 or by visiting www.cancer.org.
Come enjoy a day in Town Park and show your support to the our community’s cancer survivors and caregivers and to the many volunteers on the Relay for Life teams this Saturday, June 18, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. For event details, go to www.relayforlife.org/archuletacountyco.