Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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June 6, 2014

Invite open to join Relay fun — If there is anyone who understands the power of support in numbers, it is the American Cancer Society.

The greatest statement is not only rallying those who have managed to defeat cancer, but also bringing entire communities together for events like Relay For Life.

ACS Community Manager Phoebe Brummett is inviting everyone to drop by Pauls Valley’s version of the Relay on Friday.

She manages six Relay For Life events from Purcell to Marietta. She said there would not be just fundraising, but 12 hours of fun activities.

“You don’t have to necessarily be involved with Relay For Life just to come out and have fun with us,” said Brummett. “This is my second year here.”

Set to go from 7 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. the following morning in Wacker Park near the band shell. The event will kick off with an opening ceremony and the survivors lap.

People can then mingle among the various booths set up by the registered teams and participate in the planned activities.

Brummett’s own involvement spanned 10 years as a volunteer before being asked to become a staff partner for them.

She believes just about anyone can be impacted by the disease. Her own experience comes from losing a fiancé and an aunt along with witnessing her mom battle a form of cancer.

“I’ve been touched by it very closely three times,” said Brummett. “So that was what got me started in the beginning.”

Visitors have the opportunity to participate in the luminary service at 10 p.m., said Brummett. There is an opportunity to buy them in memory or support of loved ones up until that time.

Additionally, there will be extra laps going on throughout the 12 hours, some with creative twists like cartwheels. Teams will be fundraising throughout the night. They are selling hamburgers, selling raffle tickets for a kids’ electric car and purple lounge chair and having a live auction.

“The significance of a 12-hour Relay is it’s supposed to be similar to what a cancer survivor goes through in their journey,” said Brummett. “When they get diagnosed it’s dark outside and you feel like all is bleak. Then in the morning… hopefully the journey you’ve come through has gone to the dawn, which is the light at the end of the tunnel.”

“What makes fundraising by the Cancer Society unique is that all of the money stays in the area,” Brummett said. “It provides services to individuals who battle cancer.

In the past year, they’ve provided hotel rooms for 15 individuals undergoing treatment, transportation for 30 individuals and wigs for two individuals.

So far about $21,000 has been raised in this area, with an overall goal of $45,000.

“It stays in Garvin County with what their needs are when they get cancer,” said Brummett. “I’m proud of the American Cancer Society helping people in small communities.”

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