The annual Crawford County Relay for Life event is set to kick off on Friday, June 7, at the Recklein Historic District. The event is scheduled to take place at Recklein Auditorium from 4:30 to 10:30 p.m., with a night full of good food, fun activities for the whole family, and a special luminaria ceremony to remember and honor those who have battled or are still battling cancer.
The night will begin with a survivor dinner at 4:30 p.m. and a silent pie and cake auction where visitors can bid on delicious baked goods until 8:30 p.m. The dinner will be followed by the opening ceremony at 6 p.m., featuring a color guard detail from the Steelville and Cuba Boy Scouts and the introduction of survivors. Around 60 cancer survivors have registered to attend. The Relay Committee will then honor a special Hero of Hope who has done outstanding volunteer work for the Relay events throughout the years.
The luminaria ceremony is scheduled to begin at dusk. The service of light symbolizes the hope and courage to continue fighting cancer. “The luminarias are a big part of the night, to honor the survivors and remember those who we’ve lost. It’s really beautiful,” Relay For Life Committee Co-chair Donna Conduitt said.
Those wishing to purchase a luminaria for a loved one can do so on the day of the event or by contacting Becky Basham at 573-263-6022. Each luminaria costs $5 and will be displayed around the path at dusk.
Participants will be able to walk the path, and local businesses will be hosting fun activities for all ages throughout the evening. The night will come to a close at 10:30 with a prayer and an official total of this year’s fundraising.
“All the money we’ve been raising for the event will go to the American Cancer Society to find the cure that we desperately need,” Conduitt said, “There are so many people fighting this battle out there. If you or someone you know hasn’t had cancer, you eventually will be affected if we don’t find a cure soon. We relay to celebrate those fighting the battle, to remember the ones we lost, and to fight back to eliminate cancer.”
Eleven Relay teams have been working hard to raise funds for the cause through various activities. The Blue Angels team hosted a bowling night, the Methodist Church sold track signs around the area, and Restless Realty “flushed out cancer” by placing a purple toilet in front of local businesses to spread awareness for the event. Conduitt said this year’s goal is to raise $30,000 for the American Cancer Society. So far, nearly $24,000 has been raised.
Not only have teams been fundraising, but several businesses have made large contributions to the cause. On the Run, Mar-Bal Incorporated, and Peoples Bank have each donated $1,000. $500 donors include First Community National Bank, Hubbell Incorporated/ Meramec Instrument Transformer Company, and Missouri Baptist Sullivan Hospital. Several other local businesses have made $250 donations to this year’s Relay For Life.
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