American Cancer Society recognizes Arenac Relay For Life with All-American award
ARENAC COUNTY — During the weekend of Nov. 13-15, the Arenac County Relay For Life program was recognized for its efforts to make the relay a success.
On behalf of the Arenac County Relay For Life, Dawn McNamara, chairperson of the county’s relay program, received the American Cancer Society’s “All-American Relay Award” for the Arenac group’s efforts in promoting Relay For Life. She said a total of 94 teams throughout the country received the award.
According to McNamara, the All-American Relay Award is given to relays that promote growth in five areas, otherwise known as the “5 D’s” (the American Cancer Society Web site lists these as: leadership development, team development, event development, survivor development, and fundraising development), within their relay events and throughout the year.
She said at the most recent Arenac relay on July 11 of this year, a total of 625 participants from 31 teams took part in the walk at the Standish-Sterling Middle School track. Out of the 625 participants, 73 were cancer survivors, McNamara said.
The participants raised a total of $57,063 for the American Cancer Society, she said.
According to McNamara, the relay is a moving celebration of cancer survivorship. The event begins with a Survivors Lap in which cancer survivors take a victory lap around the track. During the second lap, the caregivers of cancer victims join in with the survivors to continue the celebration.
A solemn, candlelight ceremony, known as the Luminaria Ceremony, is held later in the evening during Relay for Life events to honor cancer survivors and remember those who have lost their lives to the disease.
Each year, more than 3.5 million people in 5,000 communities in the United States, along with additional communities in 20 other countries, take part in Relay For Life events, McNamara said.
A total of 12 teams have already signed up for the 2010 edition of the Arenac County Relay for Life, scheduled for July 10, 2010. According to the Relay For Life Web site, those teams are: Believing in a Cure (nine members), CMDHD Family Ties (five members), All in the Family and Ruthie’s Devilish Angels (four members apiece), Saints Marching for a Cure (two members), and AuGres Young’ns, Colors of Hope, SMMSH Angels on Track, Spartan Tire, The Country Church, and The Walking Weekend Warriors (one member apiece).