The first ever Buffalo Island Relay for Life cancer campaign came to a grand finale Friday night as area citizens gathered at the Leachville City Park for an all night walk.
Chairperson Sheila Spurlock attributed the success of the event to the volunteers from Lake City, Caraway, Black Oak, Monette, Leachville and Manila who organized teams that sponsored fund raisers.
Throughout the last few months wrestling matches, golf tournaments, softball tournaments, bake sales and motorcycle rides were held, there were donations, items donated for raffles and road blocks, and church goers, city governments, school children, singers, and more pooled their talents and resources for the cause.
The night of activities began at 5 p.m. Friday with food booths, entertainment and children's activities.
Some of the entertainment included New Hope Gospel, Children's Time with Drake Brown, Jacob Sanders, Clay Turner, Savannah Stewart, Alyson Routon, Madison Finch, Jordon Miller and Drake Brown, Bands including Nuttin' Fancy, Trial and Error, Serious Trouble and D.J. Music.
At 7 p.m. all cancer survivors were introduced and presented with a red ribbon sash. Six honorary survivors included Pat Murphy, Greg Miller, Karla Arena, Sharon Hill, Keith Sneed and Kevin Hill. They led the walk for all survivors that made the first lap before being joined by others.
Luminaries, candles in memory or in honor of cancer victims, lit the way around the track.
"Some day we will beat cancer - one step at a time," Spurlock, a cancer survivor herself, said.
Before the survivor's walk, a message was read by Janice Edgin.
What Cancer Can't Do
One of the most dreaded sentences a patient can hear is, "You have cancer."
These words bring a chill to the heart. Although great progress is being made in treating this disease, recovery can be long and painful, and many people do not survive. But an enthusiastic believer in Christ knows:
Cancer is so limited.
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
I cannot invade the soul.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot quench the spirit.
It cannot lessen the power
Of the resurrection.
Karen Vaughn who works with Camp Quality each year had a booth offering free face paintings and stick-on tattoos for the children. Bess Thompson and Tappy Sexton assisted at the popular site for children.
Barrel train rides proved popular with the younger children. Children's games and activities included an egg on spoon race, Hula Hoop, 50's children costume contest, horseshoes, and pancake relay.
Adult games included a twist, 50's costume contest, noodle walk, tug of war, horseshoes, limbo, bingo, and a hula hoop contest.
The goal for the event was $20,000 and thanks to the response of all of the communities, that goal was exceeded. An estimated $35,000 will go to the Cancer Society.
Spurlock said the event would not have been as successful if it were not for all the volunteers. She especially wanted to thank the Leachville city workers for getting the water off the park after the rain on Thursday. She also wanted to thank the children who helped fill the luminaries.