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LaRue Co. Relay for Life is Saturday

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By Kaylan Anderson

The annual Relay for Life event in LaRue County is a time of remembrance, compassion, and fighting for a cure. The 21st Relay for Life event will be held this Saturday, June 16, at CreekFront Park in Hodgenville.

The Event will take place at Creekfront Park at 250 Tonieville Rd. Events will begin at 2 p.m. and continue until midnight. Tonieville Road will be closed on Saturday, to give room for parking, activities, and more.

For those attending, space for handicap parking and those needing drop off is at the parking lot in front of the park pavilion. For teams and the public, parking will be open on the sides of Tonieville Road. The Relay for Life event will have golf carts for those who cannot walk the distance, to ensure that everybody can come out and enjoy the event.

For the Goodtime Cruisers car show, the cars will be in the grass beside the playground and other areas at the park. People can go look at their favorite cars and vote on them, and the winner will be presented a plaque at the ceremony.

Relay for Life has changed not only its location, but also will no longer start with the survivors’ first lap. Instead, the survivors’ lap will take place at 5 p.m. followed by a lap with the survivors and their caregivers. The lap for the survivors and caregivers will be on the side of the park, by the pavilion, and others wanting to walk longer distances can branch out to the right side of the park as well.

The ceremony, which will start at 5 p.m., is organized by the LaRue County Relay for Life organization to honor the over 150 survivors in LaRue County. The ceremony will also recognize caregivers and those who lost their battle with cancer.

The LaRue County Relay for Life Organization is composed of eleven teams, and a chair committee. Shirley Jaggers, County Chair, became head of the event three years ago, in 2015.

“My role is to be the person to meet with the teams, plan our events, and help them with their fundraisers, “ Jaggers explained. “It may sound like a lot, but the one thing that makes my job easy are the teams themselves. The team captains and their team’s hard work to make sure that everything gets done always exceeds my expectations every year. I have never worked with such a great group, and I appreciate each and every one of our 113 participants.”

As for how Jaggers got started in Relay for Life, it is a story that many can relate to on losing loved ones and feeling connected to a community that understood the pain and sorrow that accompanies grief.

“My father passed away from glioblastoma tumor of the brain in 2004 and my mother is a two time cancer survivor,” Jaggers revealed. “We had just moved down here in 2003, and I had started hearing and seeing a lot about the Relay for life event. About three or fours after my dad passed away my aunt asked me to come to the event, and I’ve been part of this family ever since.”

Others on the committee include Kathy Ross, retired Abraham Lincoln Elementary School’s manager, who survivors can contact if they wish to partake in the ceremony, or they can sign up the day of.

Kathy Ross herself battled with cancer in the early 2000s, and like Jaggers took part of the organization for comfort and also to fight for a change in the future. Katie McDowell is the financial chair, and Terrie Lawson is LaRue County’s Relay for life district manager.

This year’s eleven teams are:

Living Strong (Katie McDowell and Kathy Ross)

Heart and Home- Doris Jean Holleran

Becky’s Team- Becky Thompson

The LaRue County Herald News

Nationwide Circle of Friends- Regina Childress

Team J.O.E.-Linda Smiley

Veirs Crew- Amanda Bales and Melissa Williamson

Parkway Peeps- Rita Thompson

Mission of Hope- Beth Williams

Freedom Angels- Rosetta LaFollette

Beta Believers- Allie Milford

“We walk to celebrate everybody’s strength throughout this process,” Jaggers said, explaining why the 12 hours of continuous walking throughout the event is so important and vital. “We walk to celebrate and admire the survivors. We celebrate the survivors, and we remember the ones that were taken due to cancer. We want to fight back, whether that’s looking to find a cure, or taking care of those that are battling cancer and their loved one’s happiness. “

The organization’s 2018 goal is $60,000 dollars, and they currently are over $40,000. The events hosted throughout the year, raises funds to send to the American Cancer society.

Though Relay for Life is known for raising funds that will help with research and finding a cure, they also provide for cancer victims and survivors. There are Hope lodges in 36 states, which provide housing for families to stay close to their loved ones as they go through treatment.

The money can also be used for free rides if someone doesn’t have a ride to get where they need to get treatment, and they have products that survivors can get at a cheaper price like: wigs, turbans, bras, and loads of support for those under going treatment and for their families.

“There is not a dollar amount that goes back into each county,” Terrie Lawson explained, the national support system that has been founded for anybody that needs some help throughout the process. “All Relay for Life money is grouped together for research services programs, education, and prevention. Research is for life saving treatments for anyone who gets cancer, no matter where they live or how much money was raised in their community.”

For more information contact Kathy Ross at 270-234-3309 or Shirley Jaggers at 502-379-3899. In the case of inclement weather, the location will change to the Hodgenville Elementary School’s gym.