new hope

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - Features -

In 2010, the Gar­land County Re­lay raised $222,542; in 2011, $216,145; and in 2012, $222,609.

The amount dropped sig­nif­i­cantly in 2013, to $174,139, when se­vere weather forced or­ga­niz­ers to post­pone the event by a week.

“We’re not go­ing to do that this year,” Smith said, asked if the event could pos­si­bly be post­poned again.

“We were sec­ond-largest in 2013. Union County was first; we will re­turn to No. 1 this year,” Smith said.

Re­lay For Life in gen­eral is set apart from other cancer fundrais­ers be­cause the Amer­i­can Cancer So­ci­ety pro­vides fund­ing for all types of cancer re­search, not just one par­tic­u­lar kind, Smith says.

Pre­sent­ing spon­sors this year in­clude St. Vin­cent Hot Springs, Wey­er­haeuser Co. and Gen­e­sis Cancer Cen­ter.

Hope spon­sors this year in­clude Na­tional Park Med­i­cal Cen­ter and Hot Springs Ra­di­a­tion On­col­ogy.

Re­gions Bank is a Gold spon­sor. Sil­ver spon­sors in­clude Relyance Bank, Sim­mons Bank, Coco Bev­er­age and Hot Springs Braces.

Sup­port­ing spon­sors in­clude Tim Parker Chrysler Dodge Jeep and ERA Real­tors.

Fight Back spon­sors in­clude Drs. Fleis­chner and Van Beb­ber, Al­liance Rub­ber Co., Turf Cater­ing, LifeNet, Wil­son En­ter­tain­ment and Sam’s Club.

Mis­sion spon­sors in­clude Arkansas Gas­troen­terol­ogy and David Tack­ett Inc.

In ad­di­tion to Craw­ford, other Re­lay for Life vol­un­teers in­clude Becky Rod­den­berry and Va­lerie Ross, team re­cruit­ment; Brenda Plummer, team ad­min­is­tra­tion; Lisa Glo­ria, on­line chair; Kathy Wat­son, Lu­mi­naria chair; Becky An­toine and Renee Sim­mons, ac­count­ing co-chairs; Dan Smith, Dick An­toine, Dave Bar­en­tine, Bill Sex­ton, and Brad Sex­ton, lo­gis­tics chairs; Terry Wal­lace and Larry Wil­son, en­ter­tain­ment chairs; Jan Hodges and Pat Her­rin, Ac­tiv­i­ties chairs; Joanne Blos, mis­sion de­liv­ery; Jennifer Evans, ad­vo­cacy chairs; Su­san Rima and Roseanne Mick­ens sur­vivor­ship co-chairs; and Jennifer Hare and Leisa Gill, pub­lic­ity co-chairs.

The sur­vival rate for cancer pa­tients has risen by 20 per­cent since 1991, and the Amer­i­can Cancer So­ci­ety has been in­volved in ev­ery ma­jor break­through in cancer re­search, Smith said.

Re­lay For Life also has an additional fundraiser in Gar­land County, its an­nual gala “Sum­mer in Hot

Springs Key West Style,” which will be held Aug. 9 at the Ar­ling­ton Re­sort Ho­tel & Spa’s con­ven­tion cen­ter.

While many par­tic­i­pants “camp out” and stay for the en­tire 12-hour, overnight event, many also leave af­ter the Lu­mi­naria Cer­e­mony, which hon­ors both vic­tims and sur­vivors of cancer, and the Silent Lap.

“It’s hard. But that’s kind of the sym­bol­ism in it. The overnight thing is sym­bolic of the cancer pa­tient’s jour­ney. Ev­ery­body is there in the be­gin­ning, ral­ly­ing around you, and sup­port­ing you,” Smith says.

“Then, as the night goes on and it gets harder to stay up, that sym­bol­izes the diffi- cult time dur­ing your treat­ment when you’ve got a few people that are hang­ing there, walk­ing be­side you,” Smith said. “As the weeks go on,” Craw­ford noted. “And the morn­ing is sym­bolic of the new day, and the end of your treat­ment. So, new hope. There’s that word,” Smith said.

Sur­vivors make their way around the sur­vivor lap dur­ing the 14th an­nual Re­lay for Life at Oak­lawn Park

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