Cancer Survivors: The Heart of EOT Relay For Life

Seventy-five cancer survivors walked in the 2019 Relay for Life's opening lap Friday, July 12, 2019. (Carter Jones/Focus)

The most important and inspirational part of the Relay For Life of East Otter Tail each year is the Survivors’ Lap. The “Celebrate” part of the Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back slogan for Relay events is focused on celebrating the number of birthdays our cancer survivors experience in their journey from their cancer diagnosis. Relay For Life truly is about celebrating our cancer survivors.

Unfortunately, being able to honor and celebrate our cancer survivors at our Relay event this year in the traditional manner is not a possibility. Not only do we need to be mindful of social distancing and avoiding large gatherings, but our cancer survivors are a high-risk population.

So, how do we have a Relay celebration and honor our survivors without having them at our event? That question is one the EOT Relay leadership has found challenging, but we are committed to making sure this happens at our August 1st event. Here are three ways the public can honor or remember loved ones who have battled or are battling cancer:


  • Traditional Luminary Bags: As in previous years, luminary bags can be purchased from Relay For Life team members and decorated. These bags will be displayed on curbsides of Main Street for people to view as they walk or drive by that evening.

  • Luminary Posters in Local Businesses and Homes: This is a luminary bag in poster form, which can be purchased for $5 each from Jodi Guck at Perham Printing. After a person decorates the luminary poster(s), it can be hung in a window for the weeks leading up to the August 1st event.

  • Names Displayed on Electronic Sign on August 1st: United Community Bank in Perham and the Central Minnesota Credit Union in New York Mills are graciously providing their electronic signs for a virtual display of the names of cancer survivors people would like honored or remembered on the evening of August 1st.

To submit a name for the electronic sign:

Check with the survivor they’d like honored or with the family of one whose memory they’d like honored for their permission. Or mail the name and a suggested donation of $5 per name to one of these individuals prior to July 24. Checks should be made payable to the American Cancer Society Perham - Lisa Peterson (458 3rd Street SW, Perham) or New York Mills - Laurine Braukmann (30 Cornwell Ave, N.Y. Mills)

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