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$57,800 for ACS no fairy tale

Using a fairy tale theme, the 18th annual Relay for Life of Harrison County, which took place Friday night into Saturday morning, raised about $57,800 for the American Cancer Society. But not every story involving cancer has a happy ending.
‘One hundred years ago, only one in 10 (people) survived cancer,’ Mark Gregory, chair of this year’s Relay, said. ‘Today, two out of three survive. We cannot quit until three out of three survive.’
That’s one of the goals of Relay for Life, to raise funds for cancer research.
‘One of the common statements I hear is, we could find a cure for cancer if we wanted to,’ Gregory said. ‘There is a huge misconception that there is only one type of cancer to cure.
‘The American Cancer Society categorizes cancer into over 75 types,’ he said. ‘There have been great strides in the prevention and treatment of cancer.’
Those strides are evident in the Survivors’ Lap which kicks off each Relay.
Following the singing of the national anthem by Megan Bauserman, Kari Allen, one of this year’s organizers, called survivors from the stands of the Corydon Central High School football complex to the track, starting with those who have lived several years since their diagnosis to those who are more recent cancer patients. Allen told the newbies they can look to the others for support.
Twenty-seven teams registered for this year’s event. Throughout the overnight hours, about 250 people took turns walking the track for their team.
‘This year has been a challenge weather-wise for our various events,’ including Bark for Life that took place in April, Gregory said. ‘I believe attendance was down partly because of the extreme heat and threat of storms. Also, there is a lot of competition for everyone’s time these days.’
As part of the luminary ceremony, a cancer survivor generally is chosen to speak to the attendees. This year’s speaker was WAVE 3 news personality Dawne Gee.
‘Dawne Gee is such an incredible person and cancer survivor,’ Gregory said. ‘She is extremely giving of her time and energy to support the various causes in our community. We were so lucky to have her come speak.’
Gee made several points, including:
‘Be kind to each other.
‘Go with someone to their doctors’ appointments and treatments.
‘Be grateful for small things, even on your worst days.
‘Get involved and give whatever time possible in the fight against cancer.
‘Advocate for a cure for cancer.
‘Take care of yourself (directed to cancer patients and caregivers alike).
Gregory said, ‘While most of us do not have the skills to find a cure for cancer, we can help fund the research. We can help by giving our time or our money. It does not matter if you give a little or a lot; every bit helps.’
A new twist to this year’s Relay was downtown Corydon merchants participating in ‘Paint the Town Purple.’
Town Square Gallery won the award for Best Window Display; KentJava Bar received the Purple Spirit award for selling the most luminaries; and Old Town Square earned the Most Love Shown award for selling the most Relay ‘feet.’
Gregory said donations can be made at any time to Relay for Life; donations received after Aug. 31 will count toward next year’s total.
Donations can be mailed to: Ryan Bixler-Rigg, Relay For Life ‘ Harrison, American Cancer Society Inc., 5250 Vogel Road, suite A, Evansville, IN 47715.
‘I want to thank everyone on the committee, the team captains, the team members, the survivors, the caregivers, the sponsors and everyone else who supported us,’ Gregory said. ‘Without everyone’s support, we could not pull off Relay each year.’
A wrap-up meeting about this year’s Relay will take place Tuesday, July 21, at 6:30 p.m. in the Baumgart Education Center at Harrison County Hospital in Corydon. Gregory said suggestions for next year’s Relay also will be taken.
‘We always need help on the committee; the members are all volunteers from the community,’ Gregory said. ‘If someone is interested in helping in the fight against cancer, please come to the wrap-up meeting and let us know you would like to help.’