Bringing the relay home

American Cancer Society Relay for Life comes to Craig this summer

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Barbara Fletcher spent two years and two months battling inflammatory breast cancer before succumbing to the disease.

This summer, Elisa Hayes -- Fletcher's sister -- will spend one day and one night honoring her sibling's battle, by walking with others in an effort to find a cure for cancer -- a disease that will kill an estimated 559,000 people in the U.S. in 2007.

And as the local event coordinator, Hayes will spend a good deal more time honoring that bond by helping set up Craig's first American Cancer Relay For Life, which is scheduled for July 20 and 21 at the Moffat County High School track and football field.

The kick-off event for the Craig Relay for Life is today from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Moffat County High School commons area.

Hayes said she dedicates the relay to "people who fought the fight. They need to be commended for enduring the chemo treatments and radiation and their abilities to perform daily functions."

During the Relay For Life, teams rotate members walking the track continuously during the night of the event in honor of those who are battling cancer or have in the past.

Hayes said the kick-off event is a good way for people interested in the relay to learn about the event, get information about forming a team, meeting current teams and find out about the event's goals.

Those interested in forming a team can still do so, Hayes said.

Teams consist of five to 15 people and must have the capacity to raise $1,000 through fundraisers. Hayes said teams should expect to turn in their money a few days prior to the relay.

Money raised during the event goes to American Cancer Society, also known as the ACS, research.

A speaker from the ACS will address those at the kick-off this evening about where the money goes and how it helps research.

Common fund raising techniques include bake sales, selling cancer awareness ribbons, mowing lawns, holding barbecues, finding contributors based on the amount of miles walked throughout the night or asking for donations.

"It's in gratitude to the survivors on what is an enormous burden they carry," Hayes said.

John Henry can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 209, or jhenry@craigdailypress.com.

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