The annual Relay For Life of Cleburne County will be held Friday, September 19, beginning at 6pm in Spring Park, Heber Springs

Are you ready to Help Scare Cancer Away? The annual Relay For Life of Cleburne County will be held Friday, September 19, beginning at 6pm in Spring Park, Heber Springs and end at 6am Saturday morning. The Relay for Life, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, is a team-organized event to raise funds to fight cancer and increase awareness of cancer within the community. It is a celebration of life honoring cancer survivors! It is a way to remember those who have lost their battle to the disease!

This year’s theme is “Scare Cancer Away”.  It is not too late to form a team. Cancer touches the lives of so many families and so many friends, co-workers, and acquaintances. Money raised during Relay helps to provide services to those battling cancer and helps fund research into the causes and cures for cancer. During the 12-hour Relay, participants camp out at Spring Park, and this year will decorate their campsites in accordance with the Halloween type theme, “Scare Cancer Away”. Participants and all those coming to support the cause will be entertained by local singers, dancers and musicians; eat delicious food; play games; and enjoy camaraderie in a community party atmosphere. Teams of people from corporations, the medical community, civic groups, churches, and families take turns in the Relay. Team members are encouraged to raise money before the Relay for their team, and team fund-raising will be ongoing during the Relay. If you would like to form a team or need more information, contact Relay Chair Laurie York at 501-362-4704 or 870-668-0312 or Publicity Chair Marilyn Wright at 501-362-5101 or 501-206-5381. 

The Relay honors cancer survivors. An hour before the Relay begins at 5pm, a reception will be held to honor cancer survivors. The Relay officially begins Friday evening at 6pm with the first walk around the park by all cancer survivors. Participating team members will line the walkway to cheer the survivors as they pass by. If you are a cancer survivor and wish to attend the Reception before Relay, contact Carly Belt at 501-691-4314 or Laurie York at 870-668-0312 or 501-362-4704.

A Time of Remembrance. At 10pm, the lights are extinguished and all becomes quiet, as lit luminaries line the walkway and names of cancer survivors and those who have lost the battle are solemnly read. Luminarias may be purchased both in advance of the Relay and at the Relay itself. White "In Honor Of" or "In Memory Of" Luminarias  - $5 each. Light The Way Tiki Torch Luminarias are available for $50 each or 2 for $75. To purchase a Luminaria prior to the Relay, send the name of the person, information on how that person is to be honored, a check payable to the American Cancer Society, as well as your name, address and phone to Anna Bennett, P.O. Box 1678, Heber Springs, AR 72543. At the conclusion of the Luminaria Ceremony, team walkers continue around the park throughout the evening and early morning hours. At 6am, Saturday morning, the Relay concludes.

Cancer touches everyone in some way. This is an important opportunity for the entire community to get involved. Today, more than one out of two patients diagnosed with cancer survives. That is tremendous progress, and this event proclaims that cancer can and will be beaten.