rallies residents for spring fund-raising event
BY SARA GREENE
Photos by David
kicked off its Relay for Life rally with a luminary service on the steps
of city hall Monday night.
Hammaker attended with her 7-year-old daughter Brianna. Brianna is a
cancer survivor. Brianna was born with a brain tumor and has undergone
six rounds of chemotherapy in an effort to keep the tumor from growing.
"The longest she's ever been without the tumor growing is two years,"
said Amelia. The Hammakers have a 3-year old daughter, Tabitha. Amelia
is a physical therapist at Veterans Administration Hospital in Little
Rock and her husband teaches eighth grade at Henderson Middle School
in Little Rock. Brianna attends school at Magness Creek Elementary.
She's missed a little school and there were a few questions from classmates
last year when she lost her hair.
Then Brianna's classmates donned bandannas as a sign of solidarity with
her. "We still hope and pray that there will be a cure found, if not
for her then for someone else," Amelia said.
"The luminary service offers family and friends the opportunity to honor
those who have died from cancer and offers hope for those who are currently
battling the disease," said Sherry Shinn, development representative
for the American Cancer Society.
Pink and purple ribbons were sold for one dollar each, pink honoring
cancer victims and purple honoring cancer survivors. After purchasing
the ribbons, participants were invited to write the names of a survivor
or loved one on the ribbons and tie them to the city hall steps railing
during the luminary service where the ribbons will remain until the
Cabot Relay for Life in May.
The goal of Cabot's Relay for Life this year is to raise $50,000. Last
year they raised a little more than $40,000. According to the American
Cancer Society, Relay for Life is their signature fund-raising activity.
Teams of people camp out at a local high school, park or fairground
and take turns walking or running around a track or path.
Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times
during the event. Relays are an overnight event, up to 24 hours in length.
Teams solicit donations and have fund-raising events such as garage
sales and car washes.
"We've attended the Cabot Relay for Life for the past three years and
last year Brianna sang ŚLittle Kids Have Big Dreams Too.' She always
thanks the people as they finish walking or running," Amelia said. Relay
for Life began in May 1985, Dr. Gordy Klatt, a colorectal surgeon and
avid runner, took the first step of his 24-hour walk/run around a track
in Tacoma, Wash. He clocked 83 miles, raising $27,000 to support the
American Cancer Society.
The following year, 220 supporters on 19 teams joined Dr. Klatt in this
overnight event, and the American Cancer Society Relay for Life was
born. Over the last 19 years, Relay for Life has spread to 4,200 communities
in the United States and eight foreign countries.
What began as one man's statement in the fight against cancer has led
to the development of a worldwide event to help banish cancer. Katherine
Tripp teaches world history at Cabot High School. She is a two-year
survivor of lymphoma.
"I started participating in the Relay for Life two years ago, just after
my chemotherapy, before I started radiation treatment," Tripp said.
Cancer-free now, Tripp also participates in the Race for The Cure, the
annual race held in Little Rock.
The American Cancer Society in Arkansas funds $1.7 million in research
at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. The
society also provides programs for patients and families, transportation
grants, a camp for children with cancer, college scholarships for childhood
cancer survivors, wigs and other services.
Most of this work is funded through Relay for Life events. The Cabot
Relay for Life will take place May 13 at Cabot High School.
of Cabot's new city council members celebrated the Martin Luther King/Robert
E. Lee day with Confederate flags in front of his business and a local
resident dressed in a Confederate uniform.
___ Many don't know that Arkansas is one of the states that celebrates
the two birthdays together. King's birthday observance is a state and
federal holiday, Lee's birthday is a state holiday.
___ "I have nothing against Mr. King," said E.J. Hart, who
dressed in his rebel uniform. "I'm celebrating Robert E. Lee. We
have as much right as they do‹the blacks or whoever.