DARKE COUNTY - The Darke County American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life was proclaimed this week by the Commissioners, as the society saves lives and creates more birthdays by helping people, finding cures, according to the commission.
In Darke County there are expected to be 260 new cases of cancer this year, 122 related deaths, according to the Darke County Proclamation that announced July 13 through 19 as Paint the County Purple Relay for Life Week.
“The Relay is July 18 and 19 starting at 6 p.m. on the 18th until Noon on July 19 through 18 hours straight,” said Rose Schlater, Chairperson of this year’s Relay.
It will be held in Versailles Heritage Park. Downtown Versailles and other communities will be decorated with purple banners for Paint the County Purple to get the word out there, she said.
“This is our 10th year for the Relay. We’ve raised over $600,000 in the previous nine years,” she added. In her own first year as chairperson for the Relay, Schlater said that she was president of the Versailles Ladies Auxiliary for the Eagles when an ACS representative came to a meeting nine years ago and spoke about the Relay. Schlater became a member of the Versailles Eagles Auxiliary Team, then got more involved as a committee person and is now the Darke County Relay for Life Chairperson.
“I’m learning a lot this year. I guess on behind the scenes things that I never knew or realized the behind scene things that went on.”
The theme itself is “Life’s a beach with cancer” for teams registered. They are Team VCC, Imagine A World, Professional Family Eyecare, Banking on a Cure, Darke County Association of Realtors, Phelan Insurance, Walmart 2035, Mission Possible, Versailles Eagles Auxiliary, Because We Care, Joan’s Kids
Jolly Hot Tamales, Lutherans For a Cure, Rossburg Auxiliary, Vision of Hope, Remembering Roxanne, Reid Cancer Center and Versailles Medical Massage.
The opening ceremony on July 18 includes an invocation, the National Anthem and speaker, retired school teacher, Tom Donnelly, of Versailles.
The Relay is open to the public at Heritage Park in Versailles where teams will be selling food and items to continue to raise funds.
The Relay will hold a live auction on Friday evening, auctioning off gift cards and tickets, to name a few items.
Tyler Demange and Mason Demange are providing entertainment Friday evening.
“We have a Luminaria Ceremony at 9:45 p.m. when we light a candle for someone who has or had cancer and memorialize them.”
This year’s goal is to raise $82,000 for the group.
“Teams have been raising money since last year. It’s pretty much an ongoing event. As soon as they are done for this year, they start raising funds for next year.”
The ACS efforts supports Darke County residents who have cancer with programs like Reach to Recovery, Look Good, Feel Better, Free Wigs. To get information 24-hours a day, seven days a week, contact 1-800-ACS-2345 and cancer.org.
According to the proclamation, in 1985 the Relay started as a movement to end cancer and for the newly diagnosed help healing and meeting others who claimed victory over the disease.
“We just want people to be aware that we’re helping people with programs,” she said, mentioning programs to get wigs and make-up. They’ll help arrange lodging while going to appointments, say like to the Cleveland Clinic.
The relay itself is to let the cancer survivors and families know that they are not alone and there are plenty of people fighting for them.
“I think we all know someone who has been affected by cancer and know some one some way.”