Then, the storms came. Mother Nature forced Relay inside for the first time ever here.
Still, Trigg County Middle School’s gymnasium served as a suitable last-minute replacement, and the event still garnered nearly $120,000 in donations to the American Cancer Society.
Hats off to Trigg County for supporting such a worthy cause during tough times. Not, however, that it’s any surprise.
Relay events kicked off last Monday at the Survivors Dinner. The dinner was held at the Cadiz Baptist Church Annex and sponsored by Bank of Cadiz, which has served as survivors sponsor for 10 years.
Bank of Cadiz employees make all the desserts, decorate the facility and serve the meal, as well as sponsoring survivor T-shirts.
The restaurants that contributed to the dinner were Cadiz Restaurant, Hancocks Neighborhood Market, Food Giant, Hampton Meats and Lake Barkley State Resort Park.
Relay co-chair Danny Wagner said 95 cancer survivors attended the dinner Charles Terrell, Thelma Fowler and Abriana Bruton served as honorary co-chairs and were introduced and Karle Johnson, guest speaker. Johnson is a cancer survivor and has attended the Relay For Life for the last 11 years.
As for the Relay itself, Tim Wagoner sang a few songs to get the event started. The American Legion Post #74 Color Guard presented the colors for the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance. Mallory Taylor sang a song dedicated to caregivers. Typical Relay contests and activities were held as usual.
Personally, I was struck particularly by the recognition of survivors, during which those with cancer or who have beaten the disease introduce themselves and how long it’s been since they were diagnosed.
If there was ever visual evidence that cancer can hit anyone at any time, this was it.
As a father of a 3-year-old boy, it’s hard to imagine someone that small having their health tested at such an early age.
I saw 5-year-old Ethan Traub at the Survivors Dinner and at Relay, running around with Jeffery Ross, who is 9. Bruton, one of the honorary co-chairs is 8. All three are survivors, perhaps displaying the very best definition of the word.
Some of the survivors were diagnosed decades ago, others within the very week of Relay itself. What amazing dichotomy – so many who have gone so far on their journeys and others just getting started.
These folks deserve our support and prayers. In Trigg County, they’ll never go wanting for them.
(Justin McGill is executive editor of The Cadiz Record and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.)