Relay for Life Purpose of Fighting Cancer Is Explained

Why Do We Relay? That was a question addressed during the recent meeting of team captains of the Relay for Life of Marshall County.

Event Chairperson Karen Coffield explained that in May 1985, Dr. Gordy Klatt, a colon-rectal surgeon, walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Wash., ultimately raising $27,000 to help the American Cancer Society fight the nation’s biggest health concern – cancer. A year later, 340 supporters joined the overnight event.

Since those first steps, the Relay for Life movement has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, raising nearly $5 billion to fight cancer.

According to Coffield, there are 5,200 Relay events in the United States and 1,000 in other countries, and that Relay for Life is the largest not-for- profit activity in the world.

She said, “Relay for Life participants have a goal of bringing hope to the thousands of people diagnosed each year with cancer by contributing to the American Cancer Society sponsored research programs that are developing new treatments and cures each year.”

Coffield said, “That is ‘why we relay’ and why Marshall County currently has 18 Relay for Life Teams, five of which are new for this year.”

Some 200 participants have registered and more than $12,000 has been contributed toward the county goal of $85,000.

The Relay will begin at 6 p.m., on June 13, in the north parking lot at John Marshall High School, where additional lights were recently installed as the first phase of renovations to the school and grounds.

The closing ceremonies will take place at 6 a.m. on June 14.

Coffield explained that Relay for Life participants walk during the 12-hour period to depict the journey of a cancer patient -receiving a diagnosis when life is bright, going through the dark time of uncertainty with treatment, being supported by caregivers and feeling the light of hope as treatments take effect.

She said, “Cancer never sleeps and neither do Relay for Life participants, as someone from each team walks throughout the night.”

Coffield said, “There are several opportunities for each Marshall County resident to be a part of this exciting and important event. Individuals, can find a team to join or organize one at work, church or in the neighborhood; patronize fund raisers sponsored by teams throughout the year; give a monetary contribution to a friend or relative who is participating in Relay; purchase a luminary in honor of a loved one.”

She added, “Businesses and large organizations can become corporate sponsors, contribute in-kind services or purchase a $100 track sign. Schools can sponsor mini-relays or fund raising events such as paying to wear hats, collecting change, selling cupcakes, etc.”

Anyone wishing to obtain additional information can call Coffield at 304-845-8655 to find out how they can be a part of the Relay or Life of Marshall County.

The annual dance for persons of disabilities will be held from 2-4 p.m. on March 15 at St. Jude Hall in Glen Dale.

This event has in the past been a Valentine Dance, but the passing of the group’s leader, Carolyn Dalzell, in December resulted in the committee postponing the dance, which has been renamed the Carolyn Dalzell Dance for Persons of Disabilities.

There is no charge for the dance, however, the committee would like those planning to attend to either send an email message to or by calling 304-845-2646 and leaving a message. The committee, of which Mickey Massey is co-chair, would appreciate the e-mail or phone call by March. 8.

The Marshall County Assessor’s Office has been notified it has been approved for a $25,600 West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey Broadband Technical Assistance Grant, and as a result the County Commission has agreed to provide $33,885, which will be matched through the Assessor’s PVF Fund Budget. These three funds will enable the county to undertake a Tax Map Parcel Conservation and GIS Website Development project for all parcels in the county.

Updating of digital tax maps in the Assessor’s Office is necessary because they have become outdated (they were first developed more than 10 years ago), and due to technological advancements, the 911 addressing/road name process, and the availability of enhanced orthophotgraphy tied to the parcel maps.

Assessor Chris Kessler said the tax parcel maps and GIS layers are accessed on a user-friendly website for the public.

The Marshall County Office of the West Virginia University Extension Service has announced a new campaign called, “Love Your Heart Movement,” to help women live longer, heart-healthier lives.

The Community Educational Outreach Service (CEOS) and the Marshall County Extension Service will be sponsoring a “Fun Lunch,” at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Extension Office on Middle Grave Creek Road.

To learn more about the “Love Your Heart Movement” contact the Marshall County Extension Service at 304-843-1170, or visit the program’s website – http//