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Pierce County Relay for Life set for May 17

By Staff | May 10, 2019

Sue Sitter/PCT Area residents browse at a rummage sale last week, which was held as a fundraiser for Pierce County Relay for Life.

The 2019 Pierce County Relay for Life will be held the evening of Friday, May 17 at the Rugby Armory, and organizers say participants may notice a few differences from years past.

Last week, leadership team member Laurie Odden took a break from setting up a rummage sale fundraiser for the relay to tell the Tribune about the 2019 event.

Odden said she was also preparing for a survivor dinner, which was held at Dakota Farms on Tuesday. “They actually sponsor that whole dinner at no charge to cancer survivors, and (survivors) can bring a guest along,” she noted.

“When we mailed invitations for that, I believe it was over 120 invitations that got sent out. That’s our goal for the dinner to actually celebrate your survivorship, and at the actual relay, to celebrate the survivors, and remember those that we have lost.”

Odden said the Relay for Life itself will start off with a meal as well.

“We start the event off that night, May 17, with a free-will donation supper, that’s sponsored by the Rugby Jaycees, and it’s open to the whole community. We encourage everyone to come to all the events. (The supper) will be held at the Rugby armory.”

Odden said proceeds from the hamburger and hot dog supper, which starts at 5:00 p.m., will support the Relay for Life, and funds from other activities that evening will also go toward the charity.

“We’ve made some changes to the relay this year,” Odden added. “We’re doing it earlier so we don’t have to worry about the weather; we’re going to plan it inside.”

Odden said another change for the relay will appeal to classic car fans.

“This year, we’re incorporating a car show into it, Odden said. ” The Rugby Car Club gets together, and they’ve agreed to bring some cars up, and we’re going to have those on display prior to the event, and that’s going to be in the parking lot (near the armory).”

“We’re just trying to incorporate a few different things this year to draw some different people out, but one thing we just want to stress is everyone’s invited to this event,” Odden noted. “You don’t have to be on a team; you don’t have to be a survivor; you don’t have to be a part of the committee; you don’t have to know anything about Relay for Life. Just come out!”

Odden said the relay’s opening ceremony follows the supper at 7:00 p.m.

“We’ll hear the story of (cancer survivor) Darlene Tiffany. She will share her story.”

“Immediately following the opening ceremony, we do our survivor lap. So, that’s where all the survivors get together and kick off the walking, so we follow all them around,” Odden continued.

“After that, we have R & R Entertainment; he’s our DJ service, and he’s doing lots of fun things for us that night. And so, then the activities begin at that point. So, from 8-9:30 p.m., we just have lots of games, and other things going on.”

“After that, our luminaria ceremony is being held at 9:30, and at that point, we will read all of the names that have had luminarias purchased in honor or in memory of someone. So, there’s still plenty of time to purchase your luminaria bag. You can do that from anyone who’s involved with Relay for Life. I have them at my house for the garage sale today,” Odden noted.

The luminaria bags sell for $5.00.

“Also, we have a silent auction going on, and we encourage people to come out. There’s a lot of cool stuff! As (donations) are coming in, I’m getting really excited. I know we’ve had motel rooms donated from Minot; we have a Medora gift package that’s been put together,” Odden added.

“There’s just a lot of fun things. There are a couple of hotel rooms from Bismarck. I believe we got a donation from the Hostfest. We haven’t collected everything, but usually, I can say we have a darned good silent auction!”

Other attractions for the evening include snacks, barbecue from Henry’s 90wt Ribs and Brisket of Towner, and coffee donated by Solid Ground Caf of Rugby. Odden said plenty of activities such as Plinko, “life-sized bowling,” and Scrabble-themed walking laps will give attendees opportunities to walk off the calories.

Odden said the event would wrap up just before midnight.

“Great thanks to the event leadership team that helps put this whole event together,” Odden smiled. “Darci Gross and Ashley Wangler have kind of been the troopers leading the whole crew this year. So, a big thanks goes out to the two of them.”

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