The Health Reporter Is In, July 12, 2018

The Health Reporter Is In, July 12, 2018

Q: How well did this year's Relay for Life do in Champaign County?

A: The goal for this year's American Cancer Society fundraiser was set at just half the amount of last year's, and it hasn't yet been met.

Held June 23 in Champaign's West Side Park, the relay event has raised nearly $56,000 toward its $75,000 goal.

Donations are continuing to be sought via the relay website.

The money goals of Champaign County's relay have been shrinking in recent years, along with attendance. The 2014 goal, for example, was $240,000, and the goal last year was $150,000.

Considering rainy weather this year, attendance wasn't bad, said new event Chairwoman ROBIN SEWARD.

Contributing to the dwindling attendance in recent years have been several changes, she said.

One has been the location. Formerly held at the Centennial High School track, the event was moved first to Hessel Park, then to West Side Park. It was originally moved from the high school track because the charge to use that location, $2,500, was considered too expensive, Seward said.

Other changes have occurred in leadership and in event hours, from overnight to a single-day event, she said.

An international customer service representative for Wolfram Research, Seward took over as event head for this year's relay after its former chairwoman, ADELE HAAG, was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer last year.

Haag said she became ill right after last year's relay and underwent surgery last July. She had six months of cancer treatments, and is feeling blessed since learning this past April that there weren't any further signs of the disease in her, she said.

Have that colonoscopy when your doctor advises it, Haag urged others. That's something she'd neglected to do herself.

"I was always too busy or (had) some other excuse or just thought I was too tough — it would never happen to me," she said.

Seward had been involved in American Cancer Society fundraising in previous years, but this was her first year running Relay.

She hopes to boost local giving at another American Cancer Society fundraiser coming up this fall. That will be Bark for Life — kind of like Relay for Life, but with dogs — to be held Sept. 29 at Hessel Park.

A handful of Relay for Life events in other East Central Illinois counties are coming up next month, including:

— Vermilion County: Merged into the Illiana Relay for Life and set for Aug. 4 from 2 to 10 p.m. EST at Trojan Complex, Covington, Ind.

— Ford County: 2 p.m. Aug. 4 at the Sand Trap, Gibson City.

— Edgar County: Noon Aug. 4 in Twin Lake Park, Paris.

— Moultrie County: 5 to 10 p.m. Aug. 10 at Sullivan High School.

— Coles County: 3 to 11 p.m. Aug. 25 at Peterson Park, Mattoon.

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