Vermillion residents show spirit at Relay for Life

Vermillion residents show spirit at Relay for Life
Clay County residents, along with USD students and faculty, participated in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Clay County and USD on April 13 to raise funds for cancer research and Vermillion-area patient services.

"Vermillion residents really showed their spirit," said Amber Johnson, volunteer chair for the 2007 American Cancer Society Relay for Life. "Many cancer survivors � which is anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer � showed up to participate as well. It was very touching and emotional for all of us."

For the past 22 years, funds raised from Relay for Life events across the country have helped the American Cancer Society save lives through expanding research, providing greater access to cancer information, passing legislation to protect public health and provide access to health care, and offering programs and services to cancer patients and their families.

More than 150 people participated by forming13 teams representing area businesses, clubs, and organizations. The relay raised more than $10,000 for the fight against cancer.

Johnson said that the money raised through the 2007 Relay for Life will be used to speed up the search for new weapons to fight cancer. "In order to expand our patient services here in Vermillion and research new ways to treat patients, we've got to channel more public attention and money into this problem," Johnson said.

Ashlee Bauerly, who walked as part of the Pi Beta Phi sorority team, said she was inspired to participate by her mom, a breast cancer survivor. "It shows how people can live rich lives instead of moping about," Bauerly said.

The American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Clay County and USD was made possible by community sponsors, including Sanford Vermillion Medical Center, Wal-Mart, The Broadcaster and Plain Talk, KVHT "The Mix" and KVTK "The Ticket," Vermillion Civic Council, Vermillion Medical Clinic, Kalins Indoor Comfort, Kogel Law Office, Wells Fargo, Vermillion Tan World, and Clay-Union Electric. Many other businesses and individuals supported the event by providing services or prizes for the event: the Eagles, Jones' Food Center, Hy-Vee, Nook 'n Cranny, Pamida, Vermillion High School, Trinity Lutheran Church, the Vermillion Volunteer Fire Department, Brian Forney, Connie McClintock, the Rocky Mountain Candy Company, and more.

Relay for Life supports the society's cancer patient services like the Patient Navigator program, which offers free, confidential assistance to cancer patients and those who care for them. Navigators provide a link between cancer patients and community resources, such as transportation, lodging, or specific cancer information. Dollars raised from Relay for Life also support early detection and cancer prevention education, and valuable research grants awarded to cancer researchers nationwide.

The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy, and patient services. Founded in 1913 with national headquarters in Atlanta, the society has 13 regional divisions and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across the United States. For more information any time, call toll-free � 1-800-ACS-2345 � or visit

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