“This is just something we wanted to do for the survivors and caregivers,” said Holly Watkins, banquet organizer and cancer survivor.
The banquet is free and will be Saturday, April 24 at 5 p.m. at Stevenson Elementary School. The Panther Power Jumpers will entertain guests in the gym before they move to the cafeteria for an Italian-themed dinner.
Watkins said organizers want the evening to be light and uplifting.
“We just want everyone to relax and enjoy it,” she said.
As a cancer survivor herself, Watkins knows how important it is to connect with others who have survived and those who have cared for cancer patients.
Watkins said she was diagnosed with cancer when she was 18 years old. She was hemorrhaging and was rushed to the hospital. At first they thought it was her appendix, but then doctors found cancer in her fallopian tubes and uterus.
“I had surgery and had it removed,” Watkins said, “then I had chemo.”
Watkins has now been a survivor for 21 years. She knows how important it is for survivors and caregivers to share their stories of hope and recovery.
“We’ve all got something we’ve been through,” Watkins said. By getting together more than just once a year at Relay, this special group of people can build a stronger community for each other.
“Maybe we could lean on each other more,” Watkins said.
“It is important to get those survivor stories out,” she added.
Relay for Life chairperson Lorrie Hopper said they hope many cancer survivors and caregivers will come to the banquet and just have a great night out.
Hopper said plans for this year’s Relay are well underway. Relay will be held June 4 and 5 at the Logan County football field. This year’s theme is “The Amazing Relay” and is based on the reality show “The Amazing Race.”
“Team tent sites will be different countries,” Hopper said. People will go from tent to tent gathering clues and playing games.
“We’re trying to make it a little fun and exciting,” Hopper said.
So far there are 33 teams taking part.
“We’ve got a lot of different teams and a lot of different fundraisers,” Hopper said. “If anyone is still interested in getting involved, it’s not too late.”
To find out how to be a part of Relay, call Hopper at Lewisburg Bank at 755-4818.
To reserve your spot at the Survivor Banquet, call Watkins at 726-1160.