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Relay for Life set for October 10

by Minden Press-Herald

“Louisiana Saturday Night, Giving Cancer the Boot” is the theme of this year’s annual Relay for Life of Webster.

Set from 3 until 10 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 10, at the Minden Recreation Complex football field, the event will be filled with fun, food and raising funds for the American Cancer Society.

Bridget Martin, chairman, says while there will be some fun activities, such as Mr. Relay, there is also a serious side to it.

So far, 11 teams have signed up, she says, and a tent decorating contest will take place, along with activities such as making t-shirts, a performance by Minden High School’s Louisi-Annes, entertainment by No Name Drive band and others.

A kiddie area will also be set up with a bounce house, face painting and other activities.

Teams will also be able to make Mardi Gras floats and will be able to make a “Mardi Gras lap” during the relay. Martin says entries can be made with battery-powered cars or they can make their float from a box and wear it, but asks that nothing motorized be used.

For all the food lovers, a Louisiana cook-off will take place as well. Dishes should be Louisiana-themed.

On the more serious side, she says, following the welcoming ceremony at 3 p.m., the survivors lap will begin, followed by the caregivers’ lap and the subsequent laps will be when everyone joins in to walk.

A luminaria ceremony will begin at roughly 9:30 p.m., where luminarias will be lit in honor of someone with cancer or to remember someone who has lost their battle.

A survivors’ luncheon will take place at 2 p.m. with gumbo and all the fixings.

Martin says she got involved a few years ago as a team member because so many in her family have suffered and died from cancer. It has also hit close to home in her husband’s family as well, she said.

“Cancer has pretty much affected everybody in my family,” she said. “Both of my grandparents on my dad’s side passed away from cancer. My grandpa, who was pretty much like my dad, had cancer, and he died a few years ago.”

She says Carlos Martin, her husband’s uncle, also suffers from cancer and serves as an inspiration to her.

“He’s one of the most inspiring people I think I’ve ever met,” she said. “I think if I could wish for my kids to be like anyone, it would probably be him. I just admire him, and he’s gone through a lot with his cancer and his cancer treatments.”

Carlos Martin, involved in this year’s relay, says he’s been treated for colon cancer since his diagnosis in May 2012.

It hits a little closer to home for him now, he said. Spending his life’s career as an accountant, the relay has always taken place during tax season, but now he carries a new appreciation for all the fundraisers.

His spirits are good, and he even went into remission for a few months, he said.

“We all have our battles,” he said in a separate interview, “…this one just happens to be mine.”

He says he stays physically active, which his doctors have told him plays a big part in his ability to fight the disease, and will participate in a triathlon this weekend. He will not participate in the entire event, just in the biking event.

“I feel great,” he said. “I play tennis once or twice a week, and I’m doing the triathlon.”

During the Purple Passion for a Cure campaign, where people had to make donations to get a purple toilet with flowers out of their yard, Carlos Martin says the campaign raised about $1,900.

Bridget Martin says so far all the fundraising efforts leading up to the relay has raised thousands of dollars, but the total won’t be in until after the relay.

To participate or for more information, call Bridget Martin at 318-505-5167, Carlos Martin at 318-464-7851 or RJ Johnson at 318-219-4032.

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