Douglas County Relay for Life

June 6, 2007

This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.

Chat with Tina Yates, co-chairwoman of Douglas County Relay for Life, about the June 8 fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.


Hi, everybody. I'm Christy Little, with the Lawrence Journal-World. Today we'll be talking with Tina Yates and Debbie Bott, co-chairs for Douglas County Relay for Life. The event will be Friday evening at Free State High School. Thanks to you both for joining us today.

Tina Yates:

Hi everyone! We're excited to be here chatting with you today about Relay For Life. The weather forecast is in our favor and the weather looks like it's going to be beautiful. Come out and join us in our "Carnival for a Cure".


What special events are planned for this year's event? What can participants do if they're not part of the walk?

Tina Yates:

The most important event of the evening is the survivor lap which takes place in our opening ceremony at 7:00 p.m. Survivor registration opens at 5:00 for any survivors wanting to take part in the ceremony.

Prior to the opening ceremony, there will be food concessions (Carlos O'Kelly's and Backyard Burger at 5:00; Sheridan's Frozen Custard later in the evening), kid's games, and a moonwalk. There will also be popcorn and cotton candy offered by the Altrusa team during the event.

There will also be a Silent Auction from 6:00 to 8:00 with announcement of amount raised at 8:30. Over 30 baskets have been donated for the Silent Auction containing a wide range of items. There's something for everyone, so be sure to come check them out.

There will be a Luminaria Ceremony beginning at 9:00 p.m. to honor all cancer survivors and in memory of those who are no longer with us. If you would like to purchase a luminary they will be available at the event for a suggested donation of $10. There will be an estimated 3,500 to 4,000 luminaria lit during the ceremony; each luminary representing someone lost to or surviving cancer. This is a very emotional ceremony and an experience you won't likely forget if you are able to attend.

Even though you are not a registered participant, we invite you to come walk with us and experience every aspect of the Relay first hand. We'd love to have you, but pets are not allowed. Strollers are welcome and this is a family oriented event. This is an American Cancer Society Event so no tobacco of any kind is allowed, nor are alcoholic beverages.


I am interested in bidding in this year's silent auction. Is there any place that I can go to view the baskets before the event, or will I only be able to see them at the Relay?

Tina Yates:

Silent Auction bids will only be taken from 6:00 to 8:00 Friday evening at the event. However, many baskets are on display at Douglas County Bank located at 31st & Iowa. We invite you to stop by and see what is available on Wednesday and Thursday during lobby hours from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m


If I don't have a "team" to walk with, can I just come out and walk on my own?

Tina Yates:

Absolutely; everyone is welcome to walk. However, signs will be posted stating that the American Cancer Society is not responsible for any injures (sprained ankles, etc) that may occur during the event. First Aid will be provided by Lawrence Firefighters Local 1596 should anyone need medical assistance.


Can you give us an idea of some of the items available in the baskets?

Tina Yates:

Here is a sampling of some of the items available. As part of our carnival theme, there is a child's basket available with Curious George books, stuffed monkey and fruit snacks. There is also a Pirate themed basket/treasure chest containing Pirates of the Caribbean Part 1 and Part 2 (dvds) and 2 movie passes to see the 3rd Pirates movie now in theaters. We have two Tastefully Simple baskets, a Southern Living basket, baskets containing spa and beauty products.

We also have baskets donated by several local businesses including Winfields, The Etc Shop, KU, University Floral, and Paisanos, just to name a few. Several other local restaurants have donated baskets that will be given away as door prizes during the event. There are so many wonderful baskets that we can't begin to name them all.


I had cancer a few years back. Surgery was required but needed no additional treatment, ie chemo, radiation. Am I considered a survivor at Relay for Life?

Tina Yates:

We're happy to hear that you are in good health now. Once you hear the words, "You have cancer," you are a survivor. Survivorship is the reason we Relay. You are important and we would love to have you be part of this event. Please come register and take part in the survivor activities. If you know of any other cancer survivors who may not be registered, please invite them to come as well. Our focus this year has been on telling our Relay stories, why we are involved with Relay, and we would love to hear your story. How long ago were you diagnosed? For those cancer survivors unable to walk, rocking chairs will be available so that they may rock a lap instead.


How does the money raised at Relay for Life actually benefit people fighting cancer in Douglas County?

Tina Yates:

We must remember that all money raised nationwide allows everyone affected by cancer to benefit, including people in Douglas County; it's a collective effort. For instance, money raised in Washington DC benefits those of us in Douglas County. 60% of money raised nationwide is devoted to research. Remaining funds raised support education and patient services such as Reach to Recovery, Look Good, Feel Better (free wigs, makup consultation, etc). 4% of everythng raised nationwide goes towards American Cancer Society staff salaries and the running of the ACS. Advocacy literature will be available at the Relay if you would like to learn more about a particular service offered by the ACS. You may also contact the American Cancer Society at 800.359.1025 to request information on facts and figures.


Debbie, Tina, thanks for answering our questions today. Is there anything else you'd like to share about Friday's event before we close the chat?

Tina Yates:

We want to mention that Chris Merrill of Merrill in the Morning fame on Lazer is our Relay Master of Ceremonies. We also want to let everyone know that even though the opening ceremony is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., pre event activities begin at 5:00 p.m. Other activities scheduled include a survivor reception immediately following the opening ceremony, and an awards ceremony at 11:00 p.m. at which time we will announce our Relay total. Music and ongoing activities will be available throughout the evening and early morning. Closing activities include "Relay Reflections" and a final lap, everyone walking as a symbol of unity at 6:30 a.m..

We'd like to thank the community for their continued support to the American Cancer Society Relay For Life. This year marks the first ever Douglas County event.

Join us Friday evening at Free State High School track for our "Celebration of Life"!


Thanks again for joining us today.


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