Storm Lake's cancer fighting event expands into the night, with new leaders
Stars of the 2002 Relay for Life event will be able to shine even brighter this August, as organizers for the fifth annual Buena Vista Relay are preparing for nighttime activities to take place at this year's walk.
More than 20 teams have already signed up for this year's Relay for Life, which will take place Aug. 2 and 3 at the Storm Lake High School track, and Relay chairperson Mary Jo Davis said she and the other event organizers are looking forward to the activities taking place under the sun and the moon this year.
"There are going to be several more activities for people to participate in this year, and we think it's going to be something that will be a really great event," Davis said. "The nighttime activities have gone over really well in other relays, and we thought we would do it this year for the first time as well."
Davis said many events will revolve around the 2002 theme, "The Brightest Stars Shine at Night," as each team will name themselves after a favorite movie or television show, such as "All in the Family." There will be themed laps such as an Academy Awards lap, in which all walkers will be dressed formally, and a worst pajama lap.
There will also be various campsite awards for people throughout the night, and Davis said the themed laps and the award presentations would help everyone throughout the entire dusk to dawn period.
"We wanted to be able to provide entertainment and make the event fun to be able to keep people energized throughout the night," Davis said. "Some of our entertainment, such as the live bands, won't be at night, of course, but there will be a lot of activities for people to participate in throughout the entire event."
The Relay will kick off with a turkey fillet feed on Friday afternoon, and live bands and local talent will be performing into the evening on Friday. There will be a survivors lap and a lap for children touched by cancer, and the luminary ceremony will also take place early in the evening.
The luminary ceremony will have a different feature this year, as Davis said people could pick up their own bag and decorate it themselves.
"This year people can personalize it to the person that they're dedicating the luminary to, and we thought that would make it more meaningful for them," Davis said. "It's always a touching ceremony, and this will make it even more personalized for people."
Another highlight of the Relay for Life will be the Smart Shop, a large tent located outside the track which will feature a number of informational activities and kits concerning all types of cancer.
A new item in the tent this year will be a smoking simulation machine, which will show people how much work and effort the lungs of a smoker must go through every day. There will also be a dermascan machine to help people see the level of damage the sun has done to their skin, and there will be other features such as kits with information on cancers in the colon, pancreas, lung and other areas of the body.
Davis said her job has been made easier by an energetic staff.
"We've had a great group of people that have really been enthusiastic about this," Davis said. "They have worked hard on this and are looking forward to having a great event."
Kim Weiland, a cancer survivor from Alta, will be the honorary chairperson of the event this year.
The Relay for Life raised more than $63,000 last year for cancer research, education, advocacy and patient services in Buena Vista County.