Nobles County Relay for Life event nears

WORTHINGTON -- As the 2019 Nobles County Relay for Life quickly approaches, event co-leads Elaine Rothbarth and Kathy Fodness are excited about the relay's new location at Worthington's Chautauqua Park, 418 Lake St.

The theme for the 2019 Nobles County Relay for Life is "Bee Cancer Free." The event is June 22, at Chautauqua Park in Worthington, and will include a costumed bee roaming the grounds.

WORTHINGTON - As the 2019 Nobles County Relay for Life quickly approaches, event co-leads Elaine Rothbarth and Kathy Fodness are excited about the relay’s new location at Worthington’s Chautauqua Park, 418 Lake St.

This is the second year the local relay will set up in the park, using the historic bandshell as its stage for the ceremony.

“We heard lots of good comments with the location (last year),” Rothbarth said.

“Everybody talked about how peaceful it was,” added Fodness.

“Bee Cancer Free” is the theme of the 2019 relay, slated from 3 to 11 p.m. June 22. The theme was suggested by Relay team member Dr. Barbara Gould of Avera Worthington Specialty Clinic. Buttons were designed by KM Graphics to promote the theme, and will be sold throughout the evening with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.


In the 23-year history of the Nobles County Relay for Life, the event has transformed from an overnight fundraiser to an evening program in which people gather to remember those who have lost their battle to cancer, the survivors and their caregivers.

This year, 10 teams are participating, with fundraising activities and snacks sold from their individual booths. Their team campsites open at 3 p.m., with snack sales to include ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, banana breads and bags of popcorn, peanuts and M&Ms. One team will be set up for attendees to paint a pet rock, Rothbarth noted.

Survivor registration takes place from 3 to 6 p.m., with a fundraising supper served from 4 to 7 p.m. The meal, which includes pork on a bun, baked beans, cole slaw and bottled water, is free for each survivor and his or her primary caregiver, with a suggested donation set for everyone else. JBS donated the pork, which will be prepared by V&M Locker of Leota. Walmart donated everything else for the meal.

Numerous items were also donated by local and area businesses, individuals and relay teams for a silent auction, which is planned from 3 to 8 p.m.

The opening ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. at the Chautauqua Park bandshell. It will include an introduction of survivors, caregivers and relay teams, as well as the always popular butterfly release by survivors.

The luminary lighting ceremony will begin at 8 p.m., with the paper luminaria bags remaining lit through the closing ceremony at 10:45 p.m. The luminaries will line the walking path inside the park, each one specially decorated in honor or in memory of a loved one.

Luminaria bags may be purchased prior to the relay at First State Bank Southwest’s Walmart and Oxford Street branches, and at Sterling Drug. People may also purchase butterflies in advance as well. Both luminaria bags and butterflies will also be available for purchase the night of the relay.

Each year, the Nobles County Relay for Life raises funds for the American Cancer Society. Those funds are used to support cancer research and education.


“I like to see funds raised to save lives through cancer research, early detection and prevention education,” Rothbarth said. “It’s because of the community’s involvement, we’re able to save lives, help those battling cancer and empower all to fight back against the disease.”

“Many loved ones have been affected by it,” added Fodness.

A separate Survivor Reception this Friday evening will have nearly 60 cancer survivors in attendance.

For information on ways to support this year’s Nobles County Relay for Life, contact Rothbarth at 360-9533 or Fodness at 360-4438.

Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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