Survivor Social held

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The 10th annual Buffalo Island Relay for Life Survivor Social was held Sunday afternoon in the Leachville Community Center. The survivor social is held each year to recognize cancer survivors.

Buffalo Island Relay for Life Survivor Chairman Sharon McKinney lights a candle in honor of cancer survivors. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Relay Chairman Brenda Matheny and Survivor Chair Sharon McKinney welcomed everyone. Co-chairman Rebecca Clowers registered the guests presenting each with a special pin and book mark.

McKinney welcomed special guests Zack Guiltner and Jona Carmichael, two members of the E Cyber mission Team who recently won runner-up in the state for their project on cancer awareness. The third member of the team, Jared Shirley, was unable to attend. The team is sixth grade students at Buffalo Island Central.

McKinney, a six year cancer survivor, expressed her appreciation to the young people for being the fighters for "our future."

Honorary survivors are Amanda Sims, Manila; Dora Biggerstaff, Leachville; and Janette Brandon of Monette.

"We are here to celebrate life," McKinney said. "Thee children are the fighters for our future."

Jackie Wallis, community representative for the Relay for Life, spoke briefly sharing informative facts about the Relay for Life.

Since it began in 1985 it ha raised $4 billion.

"Money raised comes home to use in research," he said.

He expressed his appreciation to all of the teams who volunteer to help with the Relay for Life.

"It is amazing what goes on and what can be done when everyone joins together," he said. "It does not take people doing a lot, just a lot of people doing a little. The Buffalo Island Central Girls basketball team sponsored Free Throws for Cure and raided $1,900. A group from Leachville held a road block Saturday morning and raised over $300 in a couple of hours.

"My goal is to one day be put out of a job where there would be no more need for Relays."

McKinney lit a candle in memory of loved ones who have lost their battle to cancer and a second candle in honor of the cancer survivors and those who are still fighting.

Each year Buffalo Island's honorary survivors are chosen to represent their towns. They will lead the victory lap the night of the Relay, which will be held Friday, June 24, at the Leachville City Park.

McKinney recognized the 2011 Honorary Survivors. Present were Amanda Sims of Manila; Dora Biggerstaff of Leachville and Janette Brandon of Monette. Not present were Carolyn Caldwell of Lake City, Deanna Phillips of Lake City, James Williams of Caraway and Scout Lyerly of Black Oak.

Each survivor present was introduced and recognized.

Drawings were held for door prizes.

Followed by words of encouragement and a prayer by 21 year cancer survivor Shirley Roe, guests and family members enjoyed refreshments and fellowship.

This year's Buffalo Island Relay will be a sports' theme with teams tackling cancer, striking out cancer, kicking cancer and more. There will be games, entertainment, silent auction and food booths. Survivors will be recognized and a victory lap will kick off the all night event at the Leachville City Park. Luminaries in honor of cancer survivors and in memory of those who lost their battle will be lit around the track.

"We hope to see everyone there," Matheny said. "This could not be done without the support of our volunteers and communities."

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