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Relay for Life marks 100th birthday of American Cancer Society

May 17, 2013
Dysart Reporter

On Saturday, June 8, more than 200 walkers will team up at the South Tama H.S. track in the battle against cancer when the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Tama County gets underway. When teams gather at noon and through the day, participants will be marking a major milestone in the Society's fight against cancer 100 years of saving lives.

"On May 22, the American Cancer Society celebrates 100 years of saving lives from cancer and creating a world with more birthdays. It's the progress we have made together as a community, as volunteers, as survivors and as leaders that has helped us reach this incredible milestone with tremendous success," says Ashley Bolen, chairman of the Tama County Relay for Life committee. "By lending your support to Tama County's Relay event this year, you will be supporting the American Cancer Society's efforts to finish the fight and bring an end to cancer as we know it."

During Relay For Life events, participants take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Because cancer never sleeps, Relay events take place over a 12-hour period. This year's event in Tama County will run from noon until midnight. Registration is free and anyone is welcome to attend. All cancer survivors are especially invited. Registration will begin at noon on Saturday, June 8. Entertainment, food, and fun will be available all afternoon.

Article Photos

The Tama County Relay for Life committee enjoys a few laughs as they plan the fun events for the upcoming Relay on June 8. Pictured are (L to R): American Cancer Society partner Sarah Foster, chair Ashley Bolen, and Marilyn Svoboda, committee member.

One of the most touching moments during a Relay For Life event is the Luminaria Ceremony which takes place after sundown, honoring the community's cancer survivors and remembering those lost to the disease. Participants will circle a track that is surrounded with glowing luminaria that bear the names of someone who has battled cancer. Luminaria are available for a suggested donation of $10 by calling Ashley Bolen, Tama/Toledo, 641-484-0204; Marilyn Svoboda, Clutier, 319-479-2732; Karen Symonds, Dysart, 319-476-7762; Luane Lorenzen, Traer, 319-231-0820.

Also a part of Relay For Life is the Fight Back Ceremony, in which a community leader will inspire Relay participants with his or her own commitment and will challenge them to take a personal pledge of action such as stopping smoking, eating more healthily, or exercising regularly.

To learn more about Relay For Life, please call 1-800-227-2345 or visit Use this corrected phone number as well to learn more about the Look GoodFeel Better program.

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks to our progress, nearly 14 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. In marking the 100th birthday in 2013, the goal is to finish the fight against cancer. The American Cancer Society is finding cures as the nation's largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit finishthefight.



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