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East Otter Tail County 'Relay For Life'

Pictured here, members of the East Otter Tail Relay for Life Committee, from left, LeRoy Wegscheid, Judy Kunza, Ruth Wegscheid and Dee Anderson. At right, the cover of a local cookbook, which will be published as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

The American Cancer Society's Relay For Life invites everyone to join them on Friday, July 10, to celebrate a birthday. The date marks our county's 15th event - and it's still growing! It also celebrates the 25th year since Dr. Gordon Klatt ran for 12 hours around a track in Eugene, Oregon, to raise money for cancer research and started the now worldwide 'Relay For Life' events.

"We are organizing teams now for this special Relay," says Lisa Peterson, event chair. "We hope all of last year's teams will be back. We offer a special invitation to all teams that have been part of our past Relays to join us for this one - this is a birthday party, but it's a kind of a reunion, too." She continues, "We certainly want new teams. It's pretty easy and a lot of fun - and it's an important part of the war against cancer. Call me at 346-4747 for more information regarding how you can be part of the party."

"The most teams we've had at the Relay is 34. Wouldn't it be great to beat that record?" asks Dee Anderson, the organizer of the first few Relays. "That would really be something to celebrate!" She adds, "We hope all former team members can come that night, to be recognized and join the fun. We really want to know who has been involved in all the Relays - they deserve special recognition."

The East Otter Tail Relay has received state recognition and has earned several "Top Ten" national awards for its efforts. What makes our Relay so special? First, it's the people. Our team retention efforts far exceed national standards; several teams have walked in all 14 Relays and will be back for number 15. Visitors tell us that the spirit, the enthusiasm, the friendliness, and the fun the participants have is unmatched by other events. There are so many activities that go on through the night into the dawn of a new day.

To recognize this special Relay, the organizers are publishing an anniversary cookbook. Team captains, team members, the organizing committee and cancer survivors have contributed favorite recipes. It's design is unique to our Relay and contains information about the event as well as many tasty recipes. These will be ready for the teams to sell in June.

What can you do for the 2009 Relay birthday celebration? Organize a team: it can be made up of friends, co-workers, members of your church or service club; it can be a family group. It's a memorable experience. (For information, call Lisa) Join a team - teams welcome new members. Reorganize a team of which you were a member but haven't been there for awhile. Tell us if you have been a part of all the Relays - we want to know who you are.

The survivor's committee needs your help, too. Call them with names of cancer survivors so they can invite them to the survivor's banquet and the Relay. Call them with nominations for honorary co-chairpersons (in 2008 they were Lorly Schick and Kenny Rimpala). Call them with nominations for employer of the year (in 2008 they were Bongard's Creameries and Perham Memorial Hospital and Home). Call LeRoy and Ruth Wegscheid at 367-2571 or Judy Kunza at 346-4714. Finally, they need you to join them for this very special birthday party on Friday, July 10. Be part of our Relay family!