Calling All Angels
Frankie Edwards is one of the lucky ones.
She beat lip cancer in 2011. And for the past three years, she has been taking the fight back to the devastating disease by participating in the annual Relay for Life event held every summer in Billings.
By her side for those three years has been friend and IGA co-worker Connie Green, who just learned her husband has skin cancer.
Both are fired up and ready to go as the lead the 13-member Team Dot/Dan in this year’s fundraising for Relay for Life. The team name is in honor of Dorothy Fangsrud, the late wife of co-worker Marko Fangsrud, and Dan Gladney, the late son of co-worker Chris Remond -- both of whom passed away in the last year.
The seemingly common presence of cancer in so many families is what draws Team Dot/Dan together.
“It seems like no one is free of cancer somewhere in their family,” said co-worker and team-member Richard Boyles.
And this squad is serious about doing their part in raising awareness and money to fight cancer and aid in research.
In less than two months, the team has already raised $1,600 through a combination of leaving collection buckets or cups at businesses and door-to-door visits.
“A lot of walking and a lot of talking,” said a smiling Green.
With a goal of raising $3,000, the team is halfway there already.
Approximately 14 businesses have allowed the team to leave the purple collection buckets or cups, which Edwards collects every Tuesday and takes directly to the American Cancer Society office in Billings. More than 13 businesses have made donations as well.
The Relay for Life walk is an all-day, all-night event held at the Billings West High School track. This year’s date is July 10. The theme of this year’s event is “Calling All Angels.”
Future fundraisers include a bake sale, car wash and sale of luminaries. Receipts are available for all donations for tax purposes, said Green. And after the July 10 event is done, Edwards said she will receive a list from the American Cancer Society telling her exactly where the money went.
The team is also looking for more members to join them. For more information call Edwards at (406)545-8216. In addition to team captain Edwards, co-captain Green and Boyles, current members include co-captain Chris Remond, Marko Fangsrud, Megan Corriz, Mariah Salazar, Gina Rushford, Kelsey Rushford, Kelli House and Jake Rubio.
Relay for Life
Each year more than 4 million people around the world raise money and awareness for cancer research. Fundraising and awareness efforts culminate in a 24-hour Relay for Life walk, which includes the celebration of survivors and honors the memories of those who have lost the battle.
So far, 89 teams with 275 participants have raised $84,273 for the Yellowstone County Relay for Life, according to the American Cancer Society.
The relay begins with a Survivor’s Lap when cancer survivors are invited to walk together to celebrate the victories they have achieved over the devastating disease. After dark, luminaries are lit in honor of those lost, with many people walking a silent lap. And finally, there is the Fight Back Lap where participants make a personal commitment to fight through things as simple as getting routine checkups or to stop smoking.
How It Began
Relay for Life began in 1985 when a doctor in Tacoma, Wash., spent 24 hours circling a track, logging more than 83 miles in a quest to raise money for the local American Cancer Society. Throughout the night, nearly 300 of his friends pledged $25 to run or walk with him, resulting in $27,000 raised. The next year, 19 teams participated and the event has continued to grow.