Logan County's Relay for Life: 20 years passion, hope and support begins with dinner

Send a link to a friend  Share

[June 19, 2017]  LINCOLN -  Logan County's biggest effort to fight cancer, Relay for Life, began with a special Survivor's Dinner on Wednesday evening.

Typically, the dinner is offered during the long hours of the Relay event. While last year's Relay was 11 hours, it has even been an overnight activity lasting 18 hours. This year the Relay was shortened to seven hours and the dinner held separate on the Wednesday before the Saturday Relay.

The spacing allowed volunteers more time to set up and to decorate. This was the evening that survivors could get their free t-shirt as well. The old Lincoln College gym was decorated with strings of small white lights, colorful balloons and accents. Round dinner tables were covered with white linen tablecloths, napkins and silverware, and colorful center pieces set for about 300 guests.

Guests arrived at their leisure and were treated to a variety of everyone's favorite Guzzardo's Italian Villa main dishes. Pastas in rich creamy garlic and cheese, or herb seasoned tomato sauces, rolls, vegetable salads are offered on the self-serve buffet style food bar with tea and lemonade offered on the side. No one goes away hungry after this feast.

[to top of second column]

Devon Vannoy and John Guzzardo

Guzzardo has been providing the authentic Italian meal since the early days of when the Relay began in Logan County. Guzzardo, who chaired the Relay several of the earlier years, continues to provide the dinner at his own cost. He explains that he got involved in honor of several families he knew who suffered through cancer. A couple of those were Steve Barmes, who was a good Christian man that left behind a wife and children. Marilyn Ranney, who used to work with vendors at the Illinois State Fair, had a daughter that went through treatment and Marilyn lost her 14 year-old-son to the disease. And now, there have been many others since that time.

The dinner and the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life is Guzzardo's action to honor survivors, remember loved one's and fight cancer.

[Jan Youngquist]

Back to top