Thursday, May 16, 2002

Relay for Life gets bigger every year

By Tish Williams
Enquirer contributor

        LEBANON — Six members of Beth Deckard's family lost battles with cancer; two young cousins are cancer survivors, and an aunt is battling the disease.

        “I thought it was about time I got involved in this fight,” Mrs. Deckard said. “Three years ago, I read a story about a three-day walk for cancer benefit. It was founded by a colorectal surgeon in Tacoma, Wash. It wasn't long after that I met with American Cancer Society (ACS) people, and we began planning for a similar project in Warren County.”

        Friday evening, the third annual ACS Relay for Life will begin at the Warren County Fairgrounds. On June 7-8, a second Relay for Life is scheduled in Mason.

        Both events will include teams of eight to 15 people who walk the track from 6 p.m. Friday until noon Saturday. Each team is asked to raise $100 per person with all contributions going to fight cancer.

        There will be food, entertainment, games and contests, a midnight pizza run and a memorial service when luminaries are lighted around the track.

        “Each year the project has exceeded our goals and grown beyond our dreams,” Mrs. Deckard said. “The first year, we had 25 teams and raised $25,000. Last year, we had 51 teams and raised $130,000. This year's goal is $140,000.”

        Mrs. Deckard chairs the Warren County Cancer Society Task Force, which educates residents about cancer.

        Mrs. Deckard this year found a new volunteer in 9-year old Tyler Duvelius, whose mom, Carolyn, is a cancer survivor. A third-grader at Dunlavy Elementary school, he persuaded friends at school to donate items for an auction at the relay.

        “I've already collected stuff for the auction and $300 from a purple-white-and-yellow daisy chain we're making,” Tyler said with a smile. Kids pay 30 cents for each loop they make. “I'm also going to have a lemonade stand. The relay is really a fun and good thing to do.”

       The Warren County American Cancer Society recently moved into new offices at 5378A Cox Road in Mason. Call (888) 227-6446 for details about the relay or other cancer information.



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