Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

January 21, 2013

Focus on the fight

TAHLEQUAH — Celebrating life and raising awareness are key goals of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

It’s also a way to raise funds for cancer research and to support those battling the disease.

Local organizers met Friday to begin planning this year’s event, which begins at 6 p.m., Friday, June 21, at Northeastern State University.

“The Relay itself is actually a celebration of survivors and remembrance of those who lost the battle,” said Lela Stowers, public relations and publicity chairwoman for Cherokee County’s Relay. “It’s an emphasis on fighting back.”

Doug Baker of Cushing, an ACS Hero of Hope ambassador, spoke to the group about the importance of the event. Participants are tasked not just with raising money, but with educating the public on the support ACS gives to those fighting cancer.

“You need to know how much power you have when you give [those with cancer] that phone number,” Baker said. “Most people are unaware of the support the ACS organization gives to those in need, and how much the funds raised during Relay events help.”

The toll-free phone number – (800) 227-2345 – provides a connection between those suffering from cancer and a network of support providers.

“The line is important, because a lot of people are discouraged,” said Sarah Hall, chairwoman for the Cherokee County Relay for Life. “When they call that number, those on the other end of the line encourage them so they can carry on.”

According to the American Cancer Society’s website, Relay teams camp out overnight, and team members take turns walking or running around a track or path at a local high school, park, or fairground. Events last up to 24 hours, and each team has at least one participant on the track at all times. Donors make pledges to team members.

According to Hall, 32 percent of the money through the local event goes to cancer research for a cure. A portion comes back to the community to help cancer patients with expenses, travel and treatments.

“The money you raise is going to some awesome research,” Baker said.

According to Baker, Relay team members should have a personal attachment to someone who is struggling with the disease.

He began fundraising when his wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Hers was not the mainstream variety, which proves the disease is unpredictable in its attack.

“We had gone through and exhausted all that we could go through,” Baker said. “We blogged and told everything that was going on in her life.”

‘Everything’ included chemotherapy, trial drug studies, radiation and IV therapy.

Through it all, Baker said, his wife always had joy in her life.

“She was an incredible prayer warrior,” he said.

She lost her battle a little over four years later, but Baker continues to speak out for others.

“You don’t know much power you have until you Relay,” Baker said.

Participants in the local event establish teams, and they raise funds from the kickoff date until day of the Relay.

“We usually have 20 to 30 teams each year,” Hall said. “This year, our goal is 30 teams to raise $85,000.”

Vanessa Farrow is a team development leader, which means she helps recruit new teams and members.

“We also hold team captain meetings to update them on things like how much money we’ve raised, fundraising ideas and upcoming events,” Farrow sad.

The meetings also inform the teams on why they are participating and help keep them inspired.

“We work like a support group,” Farrow said. “We let survivors know they’re not forgotten. We want to end cancer.”

Fundraising for the Cherokee County campaign starts right away.

“We’re forming teams now, and would like them to get to work raising money,” Stowers said. “We want them to raise funds before the Relay actually begins.”

According to Stowers, the goal of each team is to have at least one cancer survivor walk during the 12-hour relay, at least the first lap during the opening ceremony.

“Sometimes they are pushed in wheelchairs,” she said. “For the second lap, their caregivers will join them.”

Melanie Bolding, relay survivor chairwoman, said caregivers are also the focus of this year’s program.

In addition to the walk, the Cherokee County Relay For Life features speakers, music, and games; teams will sponsor different activities at their campsites, Stowers said. A meal is provided for team members, all cancer survivors and their caregivers.

The local Relay will host a Luminaria Ceremony about 10 p.m.

 

To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • sr-Sherman-Alexie.jpg Native wit

    Sherman Alexie Jr., self-professed “res” American Indian, dislikes casinos, mascots and Oklahoma for stealing his favorite basketball team.
    Northeastern State University welcomed the celebrated poet, writer and filmmaker to campus Wednesday, and the audience was treated to 90 minutes of witty and unblinking observation from the perspective of an American Indian all-too-familiar with life on a reservation.
    Alexie, named one of the 21st Century’s top 20 writers by The New Yorker, delivered what was essentially a standup monologue to a packed house in the auditorium of the W. Roger Webb Educational Technology Center. Some of Alexie’s best-known works are “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven,” a book of short stories, and the film “Smoke Signals.”

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • rock-jodi.jpg Woman serving time for burning baby seeks judicial review

    A Cherokee County mother sentenced to 17 years in prison for burning her 14-month-old baby with an iron is asking for a judicial review.
    Court records show Jodi Leann Rock, 21, requested a copy of her judgment and sentence, and this week filed an application for a judicial review. Copies of her request have been submitted to a judge and the District Attorney’s Office.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-SchoolCharter.jpg Concerns expressed as SB 573 awaits House vote

    With an Oklahoma Senate bill now awaiting a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, some parents are voicing concerns about the futures of rural K-8 schools in Cherokee County.
    Senate Bill 573 calls for a commission to establish charter schools throughout the state. A charter school receives taxpayer funding, but functions independently. They can be founded by an array of interests, including teachers, parents, universities and nonprofits. In Oklahoma, tribal entities can establish charter schools.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man gets suspended sentence for possession

    A 37-year-old Webbers Falls man has been given a suspended sentence on drug-possession charges.
    Dusty Kayl Skaggs was charged with endeavoring to manufacture methamphetamine earlier this year after he and 43-year-old Misty Hayes Paden, of Muskogee, were arrested during execution of a search warrant.

    April 24, 2014

  • sr-NSU-Earth-day.jpg NSU students observe Earth Day

    Students and members of the community converged on Northeastern State University’s Second Century Square on Tuesday to spend an afternoon celebrating Earth Day.
    The event featured tables sponsored by campus organizations, prizes and music by Chris Espinoza. NSU’s Earth Day theme was “Gather Here. Go Green,” and was organized by the Committee for Sustainability and the Northeastern Student Government Association (NSGA).

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts-smallholders-courtesy.jpg Rural smallholders host annual show

    More and more, many people are showing growing interest in learning the sources of their food, including meat. As such, interest in farm-to-table living is increasing.
    Saturday, the Rural Smallholders Association held its annual spring show at the Cherokee County Fairgrounds, promoting the farming of sheep and goats, along with giving the general public a sample of their products.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • pitts-hurley.jpg Wanted man nabbed during traffic stop

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested a wanted man this week after a traffic stop near South Muskogee and Willis Road.
    Hurley D. Pitts, 40, was being sought by authorities on a motion to revoke a previous sentence.
    Sheriff’s Deputy Jarrick Snyder said he stopped a car after it ran off the road a couple of times. A woman was behind the wheel, and Pitts was sitting in the passenger seat.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-Wikafile.jpg Communiversity Band performs Sunday

    Musicians from on and off the Northeastern State University campus have made their final preparations for an upcoming performance of the NSU Communiversity Band.
    The ensemble performs Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m., in the NSU Center for the Performing Arts. The conductor is Dr. Norman Wika, associate professor of music and band program director. Guest conductor is student Kameron Parmain. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.
    “Everything has come together very well this semester,” Wika said.
    “We have about 40 musicians, and everyone who started the rehearsals has stuck with it. This could be the best Community Band concert yet.”

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Council concerned over reports of land contamination

    Negotiations involving the purchase of nearly 20 homes on 7 acres of land near Basin Avenue hit a snag Monday night when concerns surfaced over potential contamination of the area.
    Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols had proposed the city purchase the homes and duplexes as a large step in a greenbelt project, which would establish a solid park and trail system from the downtown area to the site of the city’s old solid waste transfer station.
    Until Monday, details of the negotiations had been mostly discussed behind closed doors, though Nichols confirmed the list price for the property to be $480,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Council tables cell tower permit apps

    Tahlequah city councilors on Monday opted to hold off on approval of two special-use permit applications that would help AT&T install a couple of 150-foot cell towers within the city.
    Branch Communications is asking for the permits as it attempts to construct two monopole cell towers – one on Commercial Road near Green Country Funeral Home, and another at the Tahlequah Public Schools bus barn on Pendleton Street. Other towers are being built outside of the city limits.
    Members of the city’s planning and zoning board gave their OK for both permits last month.

    April 23, 2014

Poll

How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
Stocks