Community ‘Fights Back’ Against Cancer


Brianna Gibbs/KMXT

It’s Relay for Life time again in Kodiak. Each year hundreds of community members take to the Woody Way field and participate in the 24-hour relay while raising funds for the American Cancer Society. This will be the 8th year for Kodiak’s Relay for Life and more than 16 teams are signed up.
Angela Graham helped organize the event and said this year’s relay will be superhero-themed. She said they are hoping to raise $50,000.
“It’s a community event that we can all get together and stand behind those who are fighting cancer, we can with the people that have survived cancer and we can hold the hands of people that have lost somebody to cancer.”
Still, fundraising is the goal, because Graham said the American Cancer Society provides a lot of financial support to Kodiak families that are fighting cancer, including airfare to and from off island appointments.
“There’s all sorts of services once you get to Anchorage for the Kodiak folks. There’s wigs for those that lose their hair that need that option. So the money goes into so many different avenues of getting rid of cancer.”

Graham added that research is included in that.

There have already been a handful of events for relay in the past few weeks, even though the actual event won’t start until July 25. Graham said lucrative garage and bake sales, fundraising partnerships with the Kodiak Island Brewery and Tropics Lounge, and other endeavors have helped generate more than $23,000 toward the $50,000 goal already.
In addition to that, Graham said the annual survivor dinner this year was a huge success and hosted by the Poly Cure relay team.
“They put together this incredible dinner of amazing food and beautiful dancing and the goodie bags that they gave these survivors were just priceless. They put a lot of themselves into it which I think kind of made it a very unique dinner for us. So it was a lot of fun. We had dancing – people got up and danced. It was fun, it was a wonderful experience to be a part of.”
As for the actual relay, Graham said the 24 hour walk will kick off at 6 p.m. on July 25 with the survivor lap, followed by a lap to honor medical caregivers.
“And this year we’re going to have a special walk – we’re going to have a Hatcher Lap. We’re going to do a lap in honor of Bob Hatcher. He was a huge member of this community and he walked every year at relay or he was at every relay, even if he couldn’t walk the whole thing, he was there with his sign and his ladies. And we’re going to have a lap to honor him.”

Graham said the full agenda for the 24 hours will be posted in the Kodiak Daily Mirror next week, including the various themed laps, entertainment and food options for the relay. She said people can still make teams, or just plan to come walk and show their support without being official. Those interested can contact Graham via the Kodiak Relay for Life Facebook page. The cost is $150 per team.
The relay is a smoke, drug, alcohol and pet free to help keep things safe and minimize clean up.

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