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Democrat Photo by Mercedes Manzolillo

“Relay for Life” Grand Marshall Irene Just

Hoping, Walking, Living

By Mercedes Manzolillo
MONTICELLO — June 10, 2003 – The Relay for Life held in the rain on Saturday and Sunday, June 7 and 8, at the Town of Thompson Park really showed the devotion of the people walking for the fight against cancer.
It was the seventh annual Relay for Life. The relay is a community event and an opportunity to honor cancer survivors and pay tribute to those that have lost the battle to cancer, said Liz Roden, spokesperson for the event and Director of Media Relations for the American Cancer Society.
During the relay, people who have been touched by cancer or are cancer survivors, or just want to help in the fight against cancer, walk for 18 hours individually or in teams.
The Grand Marshall this year was Irene Just.
Just, who cut the ribbon and led the Survivor Lap, was hospitalized last year and diagnosed with cancer. She was at the relay with her grandson, Lucas, who she held while leading the first Survivor Lap.
Internationally, the relay has received $1 billion in contributions since 1985.
Said Roden, “The relay raises awareness and money, but it’s about the community getting together and the community in the fight for cancer.”
According to Roden, the relay is the cancer society’s signature event.
It is held locally and internationally in countries such as Puerto Rico and Europe, noted Roden.
This past weekend north of Monticello, the pouring deluge did not stop everyone from joining to fight cancer.
“Coming out in the rain really shows the dedication of these people,” said Roden.
Tina Batista, the Director of Special Events, said, “The relay shows everyone’s commitment to the fight against cancer.”
Saturday’s event raised $26,000.
The event sponsors who gave donations and services to the relay were Last Licks (in memory of Ben Klein), Clark Patterson Associates, County Fountain Supplies, The First National Bank of Jeffersonville, Mike Preis, Inc. Insurance, Mr. Willy’s, Town of Thompson, Tri-Valley Anglers, Wal-Mart, and WVOS.

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