Manhattan's Annual Relay For Life Will Be Saturday Night

By Sydney Carlin

Have you been camping yet this summer? Spend the night to fight Cancer at CiCo Park on Saturday, August 24, it is one of the most uplifting and joyous experiences in this community is the annual Relay for Life sponsored by the local committee of the American Cancer Society.

Manhattan is so fortunate to have a dedicated chairperson, Mary Stamey, who is leading this event for the 11th year. More than 50 teams have formed for the August 24 event at Cico Park are soliciting donations from the community. Teams may be formed by friends and families who have dealt with Cancer or within neighborhoods, churches, Sunday school classes, clubs, professional organizations and businesses. It is never too late to form a team for the Relay for Life.

Last year 45 teams raised $70,000 for the American Cancer Society. Mary told me that the committee goal is to do better this year. Money from the Relay for Life comes back to the Manhattan community through grants from the American Cancer Society for Cancer research being done at Kansas State University. Some grants are significantly greater than the amount we raise here from this event. The money being applied to research is paying off. Many of us are surviving Cancer. There is hope.

Much of the early evening is spent making and setting up luminaries. Friends and families purchase luminaries for $10 each which they inscribe with the name of a friend or loved one who has been affected by Cancer. Each paper sack filled with sand and a candle is set in place around the track. At 10:00 p.m. the luminaries are all lighted around the track and in the bleachers. While the team members keep a Relay vigil on the track, the names on the luminaries are read over the public address system. Last year it took over two hours to read the names. If you have not had the opportunity to honor someone with a luminaria, please let me know.

Survivors begin the Relay by taking the first lap around the track at exactly 7:00 p.m.

Everyone who has survived Cancer is invited to come, receive a ribbon and medal and experience the joy of winning this fight. Words alone cannot express the beauty of this all night late summer experience where we come together for a common cause. I hope that everyone in Manhattan will participate in some way and make this a triple success by sharing our time, our money and our hope with others.