Spotlight on Community

The American Cancer Society (ACS) Relay for Life events will be quite different this year than from years prior.

Relay for Life-COLOR

Posted on 4/16/16

By Melissa Anderson

The ACS Relay for Life Northern Lights Chapter of Langdon will not be holding a large event. Chapter members Nicole Koons and Lacey Klingbeil, instead, have organized events to focus on survivors.

“Rather than holding a large community event, our event this year will focus heavily on honoring our survivors through a Survivor Banquet,” Koons said, ”We will invite the survivors and their families and caregivers to the event for a night of food, fellowship, and fun.”

This banquet will be in lieu of the large community event held in the past. The main reason for the change is due to lower turnouts at the event and lack of volunteers.

“The reason we “Relay” is truly to honor the survivors, remember those we have lost to cancer, and provide funds to fight this disease,” Koons stated, “After much thought, we decided we could accomplish this best by eliminating the large event and putting our focus on survivors and fundraising.”

Instead of the large relay event, the chapter has decided on smaller events and actions that make a big impact. By wanting to make a bigger statement in the community to show support, the chapter will have a ‘Lights for Life’ project. The purpose of the project is to maintain the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated.

“We had this idea based on the fact we wanted to do something to replace the luminaria bags because we weren’t doing a big Relay for Life event,” Klingbeil

This project asks the community to change a single light bulb to purple – in their homes or on their porches – to show support for the fight against cancer.

“It may seem like a small gesture, but we believe it gives the power of HOPE!” Klingbeil said.

The purple light bulbs will replace luminaria bags this year. The color of the light bulbs was chosen for a specific reason as it encapsulates all types of cancer, and it is the color of survivorship. The organizers are asking for a  suggested $10 donation for each light bulb. The community may get their light bulbs at Choice Financial Bank. There is no limit to the number of light bulbs per person, but there is a limited supply of light bulbs, so it will be first come, first serve.

“Help us light up the community to finish the fight against cancer,” Lacey Klingbeil said.

Klingbeil explained that every dollar raised can make a difference. The chapter does not have a set goal in mind for this year’s events as they have a much bigger goal to  reach and bring to the community.

“Our goal is to just bring Hope to our community,” Klingbeil shared.

The ‘Lights for Life’ and survivor banquet comes after the first event held by the organization this year which was the ‘Night of Hope’ on April 8. The event, which was a wine and canvas night, raised $610 with all proceeds benefitting Relay for Life thanks to Thrivent Action money, Choice Financial, and Cobblestone Inn and Suites.

“We had 20 participants. Participants were given an option to donate their canvases to the giveaway at the survivor banquet and 12 participants donated their canvases,” Morgan Zeis, lead organizer for the event, said.

Along with these events, teams will have an option to participate in selling Tillamook Beef Jerky.

“It is a “Silver Dollar Jars,” each containing 80 pieces of jerky,” Klingbeil explained.

There are four different flavors available: old fashioned, teriyaki, peppered, and hot gourment. Each jar is available for $25, and a portion of the proceeds will go to Relay for Life.

If you are interested in purchasing a jar of beef jerk, please contact a Relay for Life team or Lacey Klingbeil.

The Survivor Banquet will be held Thursday, May 12, 2016 at United Lutheran Church from 6-8 p.m. Social time will begin at 6 p.m.; meal will be served at 6:30 p.m.; Pastor Rebecca Breddin will be speaking at 7 p.m. during dessert; and musical entertainment will be provided throughout the evening.

The Survivor Banquet is for the survivors and their families and caregivers. To register, please contact Morgan Zeis at Choice Financial at 701-256-2141.