Archuleta County Relay for Life enters 18th year

cover-DSC_3798By Debbie Jennings

Special to The PREVIEW

Our Archuleta County Relay for Life is an energetic, community event supported by our entire community, including families, schools, churches, other nonprofits and businesses. This event memorializes our family members, friends and neighbors that have lost their fight, honors those that have won the fight by surviving and shows our support to those that are currently fighting this disease.

Come on down and join us for this year’s event at Town Park on Saturday, June 13. The opening ceremony will begin at noon with Relay’s traditional survivor’s lap, and will conclude at 9 p.m. with the heart-stirring Luminarias Ceremony. Between these hours, join the many Relay teams as they walk the track and raise funds for their teams.

There will also be health-related demonstrations, wellness talks and several informational booths where you will be able to get information about getting well and staying well. These activities will be presented by some of our local health- and wellness-related agencies and businesses.

Also on the day of the event and in concert with the wellness theme, Our Pagosa Spring Wellness Center will be conducting free wellness heart check screenings starting a 9 a.m. in Town Park. Due to fasting requirements, an appointment is necessary and can be made by calling 731-1533.

Thanks to our Pagosa Springs Rotary clubs, there will be all-day entertainment activities such as live music from local bands, great local food from several restaurants and an assortment of refreshments, plus a diverse silent auction supported by our teams and businesses.

The public is welcome and there is no admission fee. For event details, go to

Currently, almost 4 million people take part in Relay events in over 5,000 communities in the United States every year. Events are held in communities like Pagosa Springs, campus universities and in online virtual worlds.

As the American Cancer Society’s most successful fundraiser and the organization’s signature event, the mission of Relay For Life is to raise funds to improve cancer survival, decrease the incidence of cancer and improve the quality of life for our community’s cancer patients and their caretakers.

Yes, Pagosa is part of the national fundraising activity. Through the efforts of our volunteers, we make this relay our Relay. Archuleta County is entering its 18th year of celebrations and fundraising. We have provided funds for research, early detection screenings and treatments. Because of that, our community has many survivors who are still able to celebrate.

Our donations do come back into our community through the assistance given to our local cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. Local patients have received and will continue to receive fuel assistance, lodging cost assistance, road to recovery rides and funding for a 24/7 emotional support and assistance hotline. All of this can be initiated by making a call to the America Cancer Society at (800) 227-2345 or visiting online. This assistance is available to everyone — patient, survivor and caregiver.

Unlike other diseases, cancer affects all parts of the human body, shows no regard to age and almost equally affects both women and men. Therefore, the approach towards this disease must be equally aggressive and diverse. Early detection is key to a successful treatment and recovery. Though treatments have improved drastically throughout the years, having the recommended early detection screenings performed is a huge reason that recovery and survival rates of cancer are constantly on the increase.

Come join the fun and show your support to the Relay for Life teams this Saturday, June 13, from noon to 10 p.m. at Town Park.