Teams wanted for Relay for Life | RecordCourier.com

Teams wanted for Relay for Life

by Caryn Haller
challer@recordcourier.com
Sybil Dunagan gives a Look Good, Feel Better demonstration on model, Deborah Sharmin, at Relay for Life in 2012.
Shannon Litz file photo |

In an effort to revive a sluggish Relay for Life event, organizers have changed things up with a new chairwoman, venue and time.

Relay for Life is noon-midnight July 18 at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center.

“We all have a part to play here to save the next generation and possibly ourselves,” said Reggie Willis, American Cancer Society community manager. “There’s a lot of opportunity to explode here and make it one of the best relays Nevada has.”

As of Wednesday, relay participants were $1,515 closer to meeting their 50,000 goal. Last year’s event raised $19,000.

“If we can get a team of 10, and each person raises $100, that’s $1,000 per team for the cause,” Willis said. “This is a fight we can win, and if we all work together we can make this happen.”

The length of the event has also been changed from 24 hours to 12.

“It’s hard on not only the participants, but the survivors,” relay chairwoman Lena Frias said of the 24-hour event. “At the end of the day, this is about them (survivors).”

A kick-off event, called Give Cancer the Boot, is 6:30-8:30 p.m. April 10 at the community center for anybody interested in Relay for Life.

“It’s a celebration of life,” Frias said. “We want to have a fun party.”

The event will feature activities, contests and raffle prizes such as Merle Haggard tickets, fitness-based items, athletic gear and clothes, MP3 players and more.

“It’s a great opportunity to sign up teams for 2015,” Frias said. “If I can get 50 teams, I’d be happy.”

A Fish Springs resident, Frias, 46, had a scare with cancer two years ago.

“I was misdiagnosed,” she said. “What I learned in my journey was the importance of advocacy. I walked away from that journey three months after it started feeling lucky and blessed.”

Frias’ father is fighting prostate cancer and her grandmother died of esophagus cancer.

“I am not a cancer survivor, but I understand the journey of a cancer patient,” Frias said. “I joined American Cancer Society to give back.”

Although having participated in Relay for Life events, this is the first time Frias has lead one.

“I volunteered because it’s so passionate to me,” she said. “I knew this was what I was supposed to do.”

Events planned for the relay include karaoke, game rooms, cardboard box races, dance contests, bachelor and bachelorette auctions and a kids zone.

“We’ll have a variety of activity-based challenges because the sense of team building and competition keeps it fun and lively,” Frias said.

There will also be a survivor zone with massages, makeovers, goodies and prizes.

“It’s a venue for our survivors to stay, enjoy the event and be pampered,” Frias said.

The new venue has allowed for three walking tracks for participants to choose from; two inside and one outside.

The luminaria ceremony will take place between 10 and 11 p.m. prior to closing ceremonies.

“The closing ceremony is our call to action ceremony and the culmination of our event,” Frias said, “where survivors share their powerful and moving stories in the fight against cancer.”

Willis also wanted to remind people to get screened for colon cancer this month during colorectal cancer awareness month.

“We want to get 80 percent of the population screened for colorectal cancer by 2018,” he said. “If we can do that we can increase the probability of survival.”

For more information, call Frias at 775-815-3300 or visit http://www.relayforlife.org/douglasnv.