Get on track to fight cancer at Relay for Life

Get on track to fight cancer at Relay for Life Approximately 30 teams are signed up for the DakotaDome Relay for Life on Feb. 25. Relay organizers are looking for more participants.

"It's your turn to put on your walking, jogging or running shoes and join the fight against cancer," said Relay Chairwoman Wess Pravecek. "Time is running out, so call now to organize your team."

Pravecek added that another good reason to join the relay is that, "It's fun. The relay features entertainment, food, companionship, information and a good cause. What more could you want?"

The relay is Clay County's largest fund raiser for the American Cancer Society. Last year, the relay raised some $25,000 for the cause. Organizers hope to match or beat that number this year.

The Clay County fund raiser, part of a series of events across the country, has two parts.

First, community members form teams of up to 15 people, pay an entry fee of $150 and pledge to have at least one team member on the track throughout the six-hour event, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25. In addition, team members go to family, friends and community to raise even more money for the event.

To get your team on track, call Team Chairwoman Elaine Larson at 624-2437, Event Chair Pravecek at 624-5352 or Co-Chair Ruth Bylander at 253-2138 or 677-8596.

Second, people from throughout the community make $5 donations to have luminarias � white paper bags � placed at the DakotaDome for the relay. Each bag carries someone's name, either to remember someone who has died of cancer or to honor someone who is a survivor.

Last year's luminarias � more than 1,000 � created a circle of hope that went completely around the inner track at the Dome, in some places two deep.

"Last year, you could watch as people slowly moved around the track, reading the names," said Bylander. "Many had tears in their eyes."

Luminarias are available at five Vermillion locations:

* The Civic Council store, 17 Market Street.

* Deb's Hallmark, 11 Court Street.

* Nook 'n Cranny, 19 W. Main Street.

* Vermillion Beauty Shop, 106 E. Main Street.

* Vermillion Credit Union, 105 E. Cherry Street.

The relay involves every segment of the community, the university, the community, churches, organizations and more. For example, the relay is a special project of a USD Special Events Class whose members have been busy organizing various aspects of the event and recruiting teams.

Businesses throughout the area have pitched in, too. Clay County Abstract & Title Company, the Civic Council, the Vermillion Medical Clinic and Wells Fargo have donated $500 each as corporate partners.

Vermillion Fertilizer and Rasmussen Motors are community partners at the $250 level. Other businesses and organizations are helping with donations of time, products, services and money.

Businesses are welcome to join the effort by contacting Pravecek or Bylander at the phone numbers printed above. "Cancer affects us all, either physically or through someone we know and love. That's why it's so important to participate," Pravecek added.

The DakotaDome Relay for Life is 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25, at the DakotaDome in Vermillion.

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