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Relay for Life moves forward - date and location set


September 18, 2018

Havre Daily News/File photo

Bikers ride around the track at Havre High School during the 2017 Relay for Life. Planning is underway for the 2019 Relay for Life of North-central Montana.

The Relay for Life of North Central Montana Committee, with members from both Havre and Chinook, has set a date and place for next year's Relay for Life.

The committee held its monthly meeting Monday in the Chinook Eagles Club.

American Cancer Society Relay for Life is a nonprofit event to raise money for cancer research, patient support, prevention, information, education, detection and treatments.

The event was set to take place in Chinook in June of this year, but it was canceled unexpectedly.

Previously, the American Cancer Society sent a representative to the community to help organize and arrange the event. This past year, with a reduction in ACS staff, no onsite manager was sent, and the unexpected loss of assistance led to the relay not being held this summer.

For next year's relay, again no representative will be sent to the area, so the event will be organized entirely by the local committee with assistance from the American Cancer Society Community Development Manager Kris Holmes in Missoula.

The local committee members are volunteers, survivors of cancer and people who have had family and friends who battled cancer.

During the meeting, Havreite and cancer survivor Donna Tilleman, who is the contact for the committee, said the committee is member-led with every member playing a role in setting up the event next year.

The committee decided to hold the relay June 28 from 5 p.m. to midnight and set Chinook as the location.

Committee member Mary Pyette said the relay can take place at the football field, saying she already discussed its use with a few other people.

The committee also discussed promoting next year's relay. Tilleman said the committee will have a truck and a banner in this weekend's Havre Festival Days parade. She added that committee members will also be handing out promotional materials and candy. The promotional materials - such as buttons and stickers - show multiple ribbons in a variety of colors for different forms of cancer, Tilleman said, adding that that is because support comes in all colors.

The Relay for Life Committee will also be in the Parade of Lights in Chinook Thanksgiving weekend.

Tilleman said everyone is welcome to join them for the parades, and for more information people can contact her at [email protected] or 265-6507.

People who are participating in Saturday's Festival Days parade should arrive at the Havre High School parking lot between 8 and 9 a.m. with the parade starting at 10 a.m. Tilleman said participants should wear comfortable shoes.

She added that the committee members will need to start talking people about teams for next summer's relay. Team recruitment is the responsibility of everyone on the committees, she said.

The committee also began to organize other subcommittees for team recruitment, youth involvement, fundraising, sponsorships, online presence, survivor and caregivers, advocacy, mission, publicity, logistics, registration and accounting, entertainment, activities, ceremonies and luminaries.

Art Kleinjan said the committee needs to discuss the forms for sponsorship with Holmes because last year he did not receive any documents for sponsorships.

Tilleman said now that a date and location has been sent Holmes will start sending more materials for the relay.

The committees are being formed including people who have already begun working in preparation for the relay and made progress in organizing the event, meeting attendees said.

Tilleman said that in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, every Saturday in October at Gary & Leo's Fresh Foods a table for the Relay for Life will be set up. The table will have sign-up sheets and registration forms in addition to luminaries for sale. The committee agreed that people can buy their luminaries now and decorate them for the relay.

Pyette said she will also organize a table at the Chinook Senior Center during Breast Cancer Awareness Month on weekdays, also providing sign-up sheets, registration forms and luminaries.

The committee also discussed having a social after the holiday season to promote the relay and organize teams that are participating in the event.

People are welcome to join the committee during the meetings and volunteer for any of the events, Tilleman said.

For more information, people can go to the Relay for Life webpage, http://www.relayforlife.org, Relay for Life of North Central Montana's Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/RelayForLifeofNorth CentralMT/, or contact Tilleman.


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