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Our View: Fight against cancer continues locally

The 10th annual Relay For Life is this weekend at Newton Field in Hudson, and this wonderful event gives everyone an opportunity to assist in the fight against this troublesome disease.

Despite its serious overtones, the Relay for the most part is a joyous event - a celebration of sorts. It is a time to celebrate with those who have had victories against cancer, encourage others who are in the fight and to educate others about the many different types of cancer and what help is available.

This year's honorary chairs for the event are Terri Wilcox and Dick Shager; both are cancer survivors.

The pair will lead the event's survivor lap that officially opens this year's relay at 6 p.m. All cancer survivors are encouraged to gather for the first lap in the all-night event.

The first lap gives fellow participants, families and friends an opportunity to celebrate the courageous battle participants have undertaken. Wilcox will also speak at the opening ceremonies.

Another highlight is always the luminary ceremony to honor those who have died. That occurs at 10 p.m., and Shager will be the speaker at this event.

Relay For Life, of course, is a national program that began in 1985. It was the idea of Dr. Gordon Klatt, who walked and ran around Tacoma, Wash., for 24 hours. He covered 81 miles and raised $27,000 for the American Cancer Society. The event has grown since then and now is held around the United States and in 19 countries around the world. Last year 5,000 communities hosted Relay For Life events.

The Hudson relay has been among the top fundraisers nationally for its size. Last year the local event raised over $130,000 for the fight against cancer.

Anyone interested in purchasing a luminary to honor the memory of someone who has died or to honor a survivor can do so at Associated Bank, County Market or WESTconsin Credit Union. The price is $10 each.

The public is invited to attend anytime from the opening survivor's lap until things wrap up at 10 a.m. Saturday. To make the event even more exciting, of course, is the possibility of raising a substantial amount of money to use in the fight against cancer. If you have not yet contributed, someone will be willing and able to assist during the relay activities.

There are again many, many people who have worked very hard to make the Relay For Life a success. At the top of the list are Committee Chair Lori DeBoer and ACS Community Relations Director Kellie Burrows. For more information on the Hudson Relay For Life, go to or contact Burrows at or (877) 423-9122, ext. 216, or event chairman Lori Deboer at (715) 263-4201 or

We encourage everyone to get involved in this event someway, somehow. The Relay For Life is a shining example of community participation, community support and community love. It touches so many people in so many different ways - be a part of it!