Quad County Relay For Life meeting April 25

The Quad County Relay for Life, which annually raises funds for the American Cancer Society, will be held in Philip this year. The event will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday evening and go to around 6:00 a.m. Sunday morning, September 16-17.

A planning meeting will be at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25, in the lobby of the Senechal building in Philip. Part of the agenda is to finalize committee chairs and to distribute team packets. This year’s theme has yet to be finalized; one possibility is “Gift of Hope” with the Relay using Christmas lights and decorations. At least one representative from all potential relay teams should attend this meeting.

Jack and Donna Hansen and Michael and Marcia West are co-chairs this year. Jack, Michael, Marcia are cancer survivors.

The last three relays have generated a combined total of $160,000. Each year has had 20 to 30 teams and 70 to 80 cancer survivors in attendance. Donated time, effort and funds have come from not only the four main counties involved, but from the communities in and around the quad county area.

The first Quad County Relay for Life, in 2003, was held in Philip. The 2004 relay was held in Wall, 2005 in Kadoka, and the 2006 relay will be hosted by Philip. Each year has seen an increasing amount of donations and has involved a growing number of teams. The first relay received national recognition for being the third largest in the nation for collecting the most funds per capita. “The office in Rapid City was shocked and thrilled that we raised as much money as we did,” said Marcia West.

“This event has grown tremendously into not only a way to fight cancer, but has become a joyful community gathering where businesses, associates, teams and friends from all over Haakon, Jackson, Jones, and eastern Pennington counties meet to share a close community spirit and a common goal,” said Rebecca Kolis, community representative from Rapid City for the American Cancer Society.

Corporate sponsors may donate tax-deductible charity contributions. Pledges can be given by phone by contacting one of the co-chairs. A “bronze” sponsor is one that donates $250, a “silver” sponsor donates $500, and a “gold” sponsor is one who donates $1000 or more.

Some individuals, businesses and organizations have already committed donations for this year. The First National Band of Midland is already a silver sponsor. Philip Livestock Auction is already a gold. Jerry and Lu Roseth are also donating a calf for a roll-over auction as a Relay for Life fundraiser. Jack Hansen Spraying is already a bronze sponsor.

Jerry and Joy Neville are donating a John Crane print of a landscape to be raffled. Jerry is a retired farmer and a cancer survivor. After the print is put on display in other parts of the quad county area, the picture will be in Philip for viewing in August and September.

In South Dakota this year an estimated 4,060 will be diagnosed with cancer. It is also estimated that 1,640 people in South Dakota will die this year from cancer. Survival rates differ from each type of cancer and the stage of cancer that a person is in. A pamphlet “Cancer Facts and Figures” offers in-depth information on the subject.

“The majority of the money raised from Relay For Life goes towards cancer research to find a cure for cancer. The American Cancer Society funds the best researchers in the country, no matter where they are doing the research,” said Kolis. “Secondly, the funds raised go toward early detection and prevention programs. In South Dakota, we are working hard with physicians and healthcare facilities to make sure people over 50 years of age are being screened for colon cancer, and that all women, especially those uninsured or under-insured, are able to be screened for cervical cancer and breast cancer.

“Lastly, the money raised goes toward the services the American Cancer Society provides. We have 1-800-ACS-2345 available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to answer questions about cancer related issues. We have cancer.org, an informational website. We also have local services and programs available for cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers.”