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Relay for Life date announced, call for donations

Relay for Life luminarias are paper bags that people can purchase, decorate and return. They will be filled with candles during the luminaria ceremony. (Leah Ward/The Globe)

WORTHINGTON — In preparation for next month’s Relay for Life of Nobles County event, organizers request that individuals donate to the cause by purchasing and decorating ceremonial luminarias. Cancer survivors are also invited to a survivor reception dinner prior to the relay.

Event co-leads Elaine Rothbarth and Kathy Fodness have announced the 2019 Relay for Life date of Saturday, June 22. The event will take place from 3 to 11 p.m. in Chautauqua Park. This year’s theme is “BEE Cancer Free.”

Rothbarth explained the purpose of luminarias.

“Luminarias honor every life touched by cancer,” she said. “You can dedicate them to a loved one lost, someone currently battling cancer or anyone who’s overcome it.

“When you make a donation for a luminaria, it helps fund the American Cancer Society’s mission to save lives.”

Each luminaria is a paper sack that will be filled with blocks to support a lighted candle. All the luminarias will be displayed in Chautauqua Park at 8:30 p.m. June 22 for the luminaria ceremony, also called the ceremony of hope. This ceremony is one of the most poignant parts of the Relay for Life event.

In advance of the relay, Rothbarth explained that community members can purchase a luminaria bag, decorate it and bring it back. Luminarias are available at three Worthington locations: First State Bank Southwest at both the Oxford Street and Walmart branches, and Sterling Drug.

In advance of the relay, Fodness said there will be a survivor reception dinner June 7, which will include a short program. The meal will be catered by Hy-Vee using pork donated by JBS and prepared by V&M Meat Locker in Leota.

Fodness added that the relay organizers are looking for someone to serve as the honorary chair of the relay. The volunteer needs to be a cancer survivor who is willing to speak about their journey.

To volunteer and for more information, call Rothbarth at 360-9533 or Fodness at 360-4438.