Fighting cancer’s effects

Published 11:02 am Wednesday, May 7, 2014

People of all ages and from a variety of organizations gathered at Cassidy Park Friday for the Relay for Life of Washington Parish.
According to Rhonda Mendez, senior consultant and media relations manager with the American Cancer Society, 25 teams participated, and a current total of $58,000 was raised.
Teams set up booths offering games, along with and food and other items, while the younger participants were able to take part in activities such as hula-hoop competitions near the stage area.
The event was closed out with a Glow Run hosted by HL Brownstone, a first for the Relay for Life of Washington Parish.
The Bogalusa City School Board, in addition to corporate sponsors including International Paper, Northshore EMS, Riverside Medical Center and Our Lady of the Angels Hospital, also provided support of the event, Mendez said.
“The Executive Planning Committee and myself are overwhelmed by the community support for the success of our annual Relay For Life of Washington Parish,” said Melanie Byrd, Relay For Life specialist.
“We are truly thankful and appreciative of our fundraising teams, survivors, caregivers, community leaders, participants and all those part of making this event possible. Thank you for all you do to help finish the fight.”
Among those taking part in the event was Anthony Davis of Franklinton. He and Skylar Cox of Bogalusa, his classmate in the patient care tech class at Northshore Technical Community College, Sullivan Campus, were spotted singing karaoke at one of the booths.
“We’re supporting Relay for Life because there are many cancer survivors in my class and in our families,” he said.
Mendez said Relay for Life is an event that has grown over the years.
It had its start in 1985, as one man running around a track for a period of 24 hours, and has transformed into an international event that takes place in more than 6,100 communities and 20 countries.
She said events are held at athletic tracks, parks or fairgrounds, and there is the goal of keeping at least one member of the team on the pathway at all times.
“Teams do most of their fundraising prior to the event, but some teams also hold creative fundraisers at their campsites at the event,” she said.
“Relay For Life brings together friends, families, businesses, hospitals, schools, and faith-based groups to finish the fight against cancer.”