The event was organized by Northwest Fourth Grade
teacher Tammy Dietrich.
The students gathered outside on the pavement near the play area for
a special assembly before beginning their mini-relay. Between the
two schools there are approximately 300 students in grades
kindergarten through fifth.
Northwest principal Chris Allen spoke to the children, praising them
for the grand effort they had made in raising money for cancer
research. He said when the school began planning for the event they
talked about setting a fund raising goal. They first thought of
$1,000, but then decided maybe that was a bit too much, so they
backed their goal down to $500. He told the students they reached
their initial goal immediately and he was quite proud of the way the
students had stepped up.
With various shows of hands he asked how many students had
participated in each of the special dress up days. The special days
included hat day, flip-flop day, sunglasses day, and hand-stamp day.
Each day children were asked to donate $1 to the relay in exchange
for getting to wear items not normally allowed in classrooms.
As it came time for the relay segments to begin. Mr. Allen called up
the cancer survivors who are members of the school, which included
kindergartener Ally, and four school staff members. Each of the five
survivors were given a small bouquet of flowers and asked to make
the first lap around the course.
There were other survivors there as well, many of whom participate
in the annual Logan County Relay for Life event. Among them was the
most senior member survivor, Esther Brown.
Brown and her sister Mary have been participants in the Relay for
Life since its inception 17 years ago. Brown commented beforehand
that she thought it was a wonderful thing the students were doing,
and she was pleased to be able to come out on Friday and show her
appreciation for their efforts.
Brown also shared a special story about her granddaughter. The
little girl was just about the same age as Ally when she went for
adenoid and tonsil surgery only to find out she had cancer. She
received treatment, and today is 20 years old, cancer free, and in
college with a bright future ahead of her.
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After the first group of survivors made it around the course,
little Ally stood at the finish line and gave “hi-five’s” to
each member of the next group of survivors.
Each class had given themselves team names. Mr. Allen called out
the names and asked each team to stand up and be recognized
before heading onto the course.
For the mini-relay, students were to walk for 10 minutes, then
take a 10 minute break at one of several ‘stations’ that had
been set up. Dietrich explained that in addition to walking to
raise money, the event had been planned so as to offer kids
insight to good health and what they can do to hopefully avoid
cancer in their own lives.
Stations included healthy eating where they were given snacks of
fresh fruit and water, fitness, and an obstacle course where
they could learn about being active; sun safety, where they
learned about using sunscreen to combat skin cancer; and then
there was one station where they were permitted to just take a
The walk began at approximately 9 a.m. on Friday morning and
wrapped up with a closing ceremony at about 11 a.m.
Dietrich said this was a very important project for her
personally. She has served on the Logan County Relay for Life
committee since it began 17 years ago. She said the work of the
American Cancer Society is very dear to her heart because of her
Dietrich’s father is an 18-year cancer survivor. She said, “He
has an incurable cancer, but he’s beating the odds.” That is
certainly something worth celebrating.
The Logan County Relay for Life will be held July 25th beginning
at 6 p.m. at Lincoln College. Weather permitting, the relay will
be held outside in the parking lot of Lincoln Center. If weather
does not allow, the event will then be moved inside to the
[By NILA SMITH]