Cancer survivors symbolize hope for Dome relay

Cancer survivors symbolize hope for Dome relay It's time for Clay County's survivors to make a stand. Area residents who are cancer survivors will symbolize our hopes for the future at the Dakota Dome Relay for Life on Feb. 24, after an-all night event.

The relay, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, runs from midnight to noon Sunday, Feb. 24. A special program begins at 10 a.m., featuring an inspirational victory walk by cancer survivors from around the area. They will walk around the track, passing hundreds of luminarias with the names of cancer survivors and the names of those who have lost their lives to the disease. A reading of the names will follow the survivors' walk.

Survivors who want to participate should call Marci Hovden at 624-2348. Residents may donate $5 to have a luminaria placed at the event by stopping by the Civic Council store, Deb's Hallmark, the Nook 'N' Cranny, the Vermillion Beauty Shop or the Vermillion Credit Union, all in Vermillion.

The DakotaDome Relay for Life is the county's biggest fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. The society funds research for treatment and cures; education about prevention, warning signs and treatment; hands-on medicine, such as discounts for mammograms; and help and support for cancer patients and their families.

The relay, sponsored by the Clay County American Cancer Society and the USD Special Events Class of Dr. Patrick Wempe, is a team event that features area residents � from schools, from the university and from the community.

They form teams of up to 15 people, pay a $150 fee to participate and then raise even more money by collecting direct donations and luminaria donations.

In addition, a number of area businesses and organizations are sponsoring the event, including the Civic Council, Sioux Valley Vermillion, Clay County

Abstract and Title Co., Vermillion Medical Clinic and the Vermillion Plain Talk/Broadcaster Press. In addition to teams, the Relay benefits from generous donations from businesses around town, including CorTrust Bank, Vermillion Printing & Graphics and the Volante student newspaper at USD.

There's still time to form teams, but residents should act quickly. Potential teams should call Ruth at 677-5289 to get information and fundraising packets.

The event begins with a party at midnight and a night full of games, activities and entertainment. Each team should try to have someone at the event all night, if possible. Team members should bring chairs, sleeping gear if they plan to nap during the night, overnight snacks and beverages.

Each team will have a designated resting space and teams are encouraged to decorate their areas. Best site will win a prize. The theme for this year's

event is "There's No Place Like Dome."

Other highlights include: $5 haircuts throughout the entire event to support the cause, an activity room for tots, chances to win door prizes, games to help the hours pass and entertainment. Health information will be available, along with experts to talk to relay participants.

Team participants who raise an additional $50 will get a T-shirt. Those who raise $100 or more will get a chance to enter the areawide ACS drawing for a Rolex watch. Everyone will get the good feeling that comes from working to support a good cause.

"We're looking forward to having fun," said Ruth Bylander, chair for this year's event. "The overnight fundraiser is something new for Clay County and we think it's going to be a big success."

Fast Facts

2002 Dakota Dome Relay for Life

What: A team fundraising event to benefit the American Cancer Society.

When: Midnight to noon, Sunday, Feb. 24.

Where: DakotaDome in Vermillion.

Who: Residents from throughout the community, from youth groups to faculty to residents.

Why: Because we care.

How much: Teams of up to 15 people pay a $150 fee and go through the community to raise money. Businesses and organizations donate goods, services and dollars to support the event.

Sponsors: Clay County American Cancer Society and the USD Special Events class led by Dr. Patrick Wempe.

To participate: Call 677-5289 for your team packet today.

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