Survivors and supporters come together

Luminarias light the track forwalkers all night. (Kassidy Korbitz Photo)

Kassidy Korbitz, Messenger Intern

 

“Cancer never sleeps, and tonight neither will we,” said the event co-chair KeelyBauer.

This set the mood for theLe Sueur County 24th annualRelay for Life. The relay is the signature local fundraiserfor the American Cancer Society. Relays take place all over the country and are setup by volunteers who take action against the deadly disease.

The night’s opening ceremony began with honoring cancer survivors. Instead of having just one person from the county, organizers decided to honor one person from each city in the county. The honorees were Marian Tuma of Montgomery, Deloris Streich of Le Center, Kathleen Hamele of Kilkenny, Melvin Wendt of Elysian, Megan Smith of Cleveland, Sasha McCargar of Le Sueur and Shauna Swanepoel of New Prague.

The night consisted of games to keep energy up, abouncy house, a dunk tank, a silent auction, and vendors offering food and services such as massages and hair-cuts. A highlight of the evening was the lighting of luminarias and releasing of balloons with messages for loved ones who had passed away. The event started Friday at 5 p.m. and continued until 7a.m. Saturday. Teams walked the track through the night in support of their honoree as well as all those fighting the battle. Bauer explained the significance of the beginning and the ending of the relay.“The sunset represents the treatment and battle that occurs while fighting cancer, and the sunrise represents the recovery and hope,” said Bauer. When the sun went down,and darkened the track, the luminarias were lit. The glowing lights with messages on the bags were significant for every person at the Relay.

“Each luminaria represents a treasured relationship. Each has a.....

To see more on this story pick up the July 13, 2017 print edition.