The American Cancer Society / Race to the Flag

Shop and Discover Showcase features Leslie Abrahamson of the American Cancer Society and a 20 year resident of Westmont, she is in her 8th yr as Community Manager for the Westmont area Relay For Life event.

The American Cancer Society is over 100 years old and relies greatly on volunteers to fulfill our mission to eliminate cancer as a major health issue by helping everyone in the community.

They offer various ways to help people:

Stay Well

  • We offer cancer prevention programs to businesses, schools and community groups
  • Stop smoking programs
  • Sun safety information
  • Health and wellness support
  • Information about critical screenings

Get Well

  • We offer free services to cancer patients and caregivers
  • Free rides to treatment
  • Free wigs
  • Free “Look Good, Feel Better” programs to help women deal with the hair, skin and cosmetic issues related to cancer treatment
  • Toll free number (1.800.227.2345) and website (cancer.org) 24/7 every day of the year where patients and caregivers can get support services and information (in many languages)
  • Hotel partner program for free or reduced lodging for patients and their caregivers needing treatment far from home

Find Cures

  • Ground breaking research funded by the American Cancer Society is helping more people prevent cancer, catch cancer in its earliest and most treatable stages and helping more people survive a cancer diagnosis
  • We fund researchers in the early stages so their discoveries have far-reaching benefits
  • The American Cancer Society is second only to the Federal Government in funding cancer research

Fight Back

  • The American Cancer Society educates the public about the legislative process and about issues important to cancer prevention, treatment and quality of life for patients
  • We offer information to legislators about funding for life saving screenings, research and environmental safety issues (such as “Smoke Free” public places.)
  • We education everyone about ways to prevent cancer, catch cancer early and treat cancer in the most effective ways possible. Today, 2 out of 3 people survive a cancer diagnosis. With everyone’s help, we can make that 3 out of 3!

Relay For Life

To fund the American Cancer Society mission, there are a number of activities. Relay For Life is the biggest and most successful fund raising activity in the world with over 5,000 events nationwide and in 24 countries around the world. Relay For Life is a community festival to celebrate cancer survivors, remember those lost to cancer and to bring people together to fight back against cancer. Teams of families, friends and coworkers raise awareness and funds to support cancer prevention programs, ground breaking cancer research and free services to patients right here in your community. There are no fund raising minimums required to participate – everyone is welcome – but the more we raise, the faster we can eliminate cancer as a threat to our loved ones…and everyone has a connection to cancer. On Relay Day, the entire community is invited to join us for heartwarming ceremonies, lively music, good food and fun activities for all ages. This year, Relay For Life of Westmont is on Friday, May 29 at Ty Warner Park (generously donated by the Westmont Park District.) Volunteers will be setting up the even starting at 10 a.m. (and we need more help.) By 4 p.m. teams will be setting up pop up tents and lawn chairs for their team campsite while a professional DJ plays music. At 5 p.m. there will be a free dinner reception for cancer survivors (donated by Neat Kitchen and Bar and La Petite Sweet with floral décor donated by Westmont Florist.) There will also be a food concession for all participants (donating a percent of sales back to the event.) At 6 p.m. there will be an opening ceremony with inspirational speakers, followed by a “survivor lap” where survivors walk together to the cheers of the crowd. Survivors also receive a unique tee shirt. Each team then walks together for individual recognition. By 7 p.m. the event opens up for games, food, music and fun activities (No Corner Suns painting activity, Westmont Library Children’s activity, Uncle Jon’s Music ukulele band…and more!) Participants can walk the track, visit other team campsites, participate in games and activities or just relax with their team – who may be doing a game or fund raiser at their campsite. When the sun goes down, we light Luminaria bags with glow sticks. The bags are decorated with the names of people who have been diagnosed with cancer – both those we’ve lost and survivors. We read the names to remember why we Relay. There will be a bag pipe band to enhance the ceremony. After the Luminaria ceremony, there will be more activities and a late night snack donated by several local pizza places. The closing ceremony will be at 11:45 and the event will end by midnight.

We need as many people to sign up online at www.RelayForLife.org/WestmontiL  to plan for food, space and tee shirts. We also need volunteers to help anytime from 10 a.m. (set up) – midnight (clean up) and in between to help run the event (registration, hosting the survivor reception and setting up Luminaria.) Anyone interested in more information can contact Leslie at 630.886.4168 or Leslie.Abrahamson@cancer.org

Shop and Discover Showcase is produced by Alkaye Media

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