Wyoming County Relay For Life raised over $41,000 this year to help those fighting cancer.
The annual RFL event, which raises money for the American Cancer Society, was held Saturday evening at Wyoming East High School.
“Walk of Hope” was this year’s theme, according to Peni Adams, one of the event organizers.
Cancer survivors introduced themselves, explained what form of cancer they had and the year of their diagnosis.
That was followed by a survivor’s walk around the track at the WEHS football stadium.
Care givers and family members eventually joined in as well.
Luminaria in memory of those who have passed and in honor of suvivors were placed around the fence that surrounds the field.
Teams set up tents from which they sold baked goods and other items.
“We had 22 teams this year, and 17 of them are here (tonight),” she commented.
This is RFL’s fourth year in the county after a hiatus of several years.
“It gets easier each year,” Adams said. “Everyone knows what they’re doing.”
She originally got involved because of family members and church members who had cancer, she pointed out.
Melanie Meachum, an ACS community manger for a six-county area, including Wyoming, honored Adams and LeighAnn Lumbo before the activities got under way.
Meachum gave high marks to the people of Wyoming County.
“I feel such a connection to the people here,” she commented. “I feel like they’re a family to me.
“If there were anywhere I would think of moving, it would be Wyoming County,” Meachum added. “I’ve had no bad experiences here.”
The Wyoming County RFL received the Spirit of Relay Award last fall for its work.
Fighting cancer isn’t just for older people, Meachum pointed out. “If you’re going to be out in the sun, use sun screen,” she stated. “People die of skin cancer every year.”
The Wyoming Continuous Care Center was honored this year for its work as “Justin’s Army,” named in memory of the late Justin Carter.
“Those are still vibrant people and they want to feel like they’re giving back,” Meachum noted.
Dr. Gordon Klatt, a Tacoma, Wash., surgeon who founded RFL in 1985, was recently diagnosed with stomach cancer.
“He’s starting his cancer journey, and he’s excited about what Relay has become,” she stated.
“Where there’s life, there’s hope,” Meachum observed. “It’s a small word, but it has a giant meaning.”