Relay for Life is this Friday

By: 
Lisa Ingebrand, Montgomery Messenger

Le Sueur County’s 25th Relay for Life will be held this Friday, July 13 into the early hours of Saturday morning at the fairgrounds in Le Center with a 2 a.m. closing ceremony.

“This is the first year we won’t be going all night,” explained event co-chair Sara Slavik. “We used to go for 12 hours, until 6 a.m., but there were requests to shorten it. I think the earlier closing ceremony will make it easier for people.”

In recognition of the event’s 25th year, 25 cancer survivors from the county have been named as this year’s honorary chairs, which include: Bob Hahn and Helen Thelemann of Cleveland, Melvin Wendt of Elysian, Kathy Hamele of Kilkenny, Brad Collins, Dave Krenik, Janice Welckle, Larry Germscheid, Laurie Roemhildt, Laurie Schatz, Ron Germscheid, Susie Soulek, Terry Krenik, and Tom Helfter of Le Center, Brenda Kotaseck, Doris Glazier, Frank Fettig, Sasha McCargar, and Theresa Kelly of Le Sueur, Joe Koldin and Mary Kotek of Montgomery, Brenda Lukes and Shauna Swanepoel of New Prague, Carol Dorzinski of St. Peter, and Barb Haslip of Waterville.

Team and survivor registration will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Food will be served in the 4-H building during this time and will be free to all team members and survivors.

The opening ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. with special recognition being given to this year’s 25 Honorary Survivors.

Following the program, there will be a special Survivors’ Lap and then a Caregivers’ Lap. Golf carts will be available for those who are in need of a ride.

Team laps will begin at 6:45 p.m. with music by Daniel Sosa DJ Ultralight. Four relay fun challenges will take place throughout the night. There will also be a bean bag tournament, a bouncy house for children, and kids’ games.

The luminaria lighting ceremony will start at 8:30 p.m. and a silent lap will be completed at 9:15 p.m.

Messages to heaven (personal messages to loved ones who have lost their battle with cancer) will be released as a group at 9:30 p.m.

Casey’s pizza will be delivered to the track at midnight to refuel participants.

The closing ceremony will start at 1:45 a.m. with a final, clean-up lap at 2 a.m.

The silent auction opens at 4 p.m. and will close at 10 p.m. All unclaimed items by 10:45 p.m. will be resold.

Last year, Le Sueur County's Relay for Life raised more than $50,000. A portion of those funds funneled back into the community to help the local fight against cancer. In 2017, the organization gifted 16 wigs to cancer fighters, covered the cost of 31 nights of lodging for patients, provided transportation, additional lodging, and other necessities in the fight against cancer.

"If you haven't ever been to a Relay for Life event, I highly encourage you to attend one. It is a life-changing event. It's very touching," Slavik stated.

Everyone is invited to register and participate in the event. Go online at relay.acsevents.org to register or a volunteer will help you sign up at the event.

"Seeing the people come back every year and knowing they are still with us is truly wonderful, and it makes you think... What would it be like without events like Relay for Life? What if there wasn't an American Cancer Society? How many people wouldn't be here today?" Slavik stated. "Hopefully one day there will not be cancer. One day I hope we'll be raising money for a vaccine to prevent it."

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