Making a difference -- The Relay for Life

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Did you know that in Nebraska in 2003,22 percent of the deaths occurring in the the state were attributed to cancer?

In the eight counties of Southwest Nebraska 24 percent or 99 of the 474 deaths in 2003 were caused by cancer.

Red Willow County and Dundy County have the highest percentage with 27 percent of the deaths attributed to cancer. Frontier County, Hayes County and Frontier County have the lowest incidence with less than 10 percent.

The statistics are startling. But even worse than the statistics is the cold hard reality of being diagnosed with the disease or the helpless feeling of seeing a loved one struggle for his or her life.

The McCook Relay For Life Committee is offering cancer victims and the people who love them a chance for hope.

The annual event is being kicked off this Sunday with a reception and presentation at the Red Willow County Fairgrounds Community Building.

In May, Sports Night Club of McCook will be sponsoring a two-man golf scramble and a hole-in-one contest with a golf package offered for prizes. The event will also include a free barbecue for participants. A portion of the proceeds will be given to Relay For Life.

The Relay, scheduled for August, is a fundraising event in support of the American Cancer Society. Since its revival in McCook four years ago, the event has raised more than $100,000 to go towards research and programs of the American Cancer Society.

The kickoff event scheduled for Sunday will offer teams and sponsors an opportunity to offer their support for the program.

According to the official Relay for Life Web site, "Relay For Life represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated."

Even in Southwest Nebraska we can do our part in making that happen. By committing a donation -- large or small, hosting an event, or simply offering a few minutes of our time, we can all play an important role in stamping out one of the most deadly diseases known to man.

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