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Luminaries are way to honor and remember

Ask anyone who has attended the Hudson Relay For Life and they will tell you that the Luminary Ceremony is a unique and emotional experience.

Come 10 p.m. on Friday, June 22, the track at the Hudson Middle School will be ringed with hundreds of luminaria, decorated in memory of those lost to cancer and to honor those who are living or have survived the disease.

Anna Peterson, secretary at Mt. Zion Church is in charge of luminaria sales for this year's Relay For Life, June 22-23.

Peterson said she got involved with the event "because someone asked me to. Someone thought enough to ask me to be involved with such a great organization. I felt honored and said yes without a second thought."

Peterson said the Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society have supported so many of my family and friends through rough times and this is such a simple way to say thank you.

"The luminary ceremony is such a moving part of the Relay For Life celebration and I have enjoyed working with great people like Kathi O'Connell, Holly O'Connell and Lori Rayome to provide an event that people will remember," said Peterson.

Peterson said the luminary bags are a powerful visual symbol of how cancer touches everyone. She said as people make their way around the track after dark, each luminary bag is lit and each name is read. "Some are in remembrance of those who we have lost, some are in honor those who are in remission or fighting their battle with cancer and some are for the caregivers who take care of loved ones in times of need."

Luminary Bags can be purchased at the event or may be purchased in advance. "They can be decorated with photos, poems, stickers...anything to make your bag reflect the person you are purchasing it for. Each bag is $10," said Peterson. There are also people willing to decorate bags for people if they wish.

Each team also has the forms and can sell them as fundraisers towards their team goal. Anyone wishing to purchase bags in advance can contact Peterson at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Monday through Thursday or call (715) 386-5409.