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Relay for life is this weekend

Merry Thomas, Sun News Service

Incline Village – One step at a time: that’s what it takes to accomplish anything, including fighting cancer.

When a community joins together in such a walk, the battle becomes easier one lap at a time. That’s what the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life is all about.

“It’s a great cause,” said Bert Garland, of the Tahoe-Incline Rotary Club. “We’re really behind it, for our second year.”

Teams from businesses, organizations and churches as well as individuals are encouraged to walk laps from 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 17, until 8 a.m. Saturday at the Incline High School track. A barbecue dinner will be served at 5 p.m., by folks from the Tahoe Biltmore. It will be free to cancer survivors and $3 for others.

“They walk all night long to reflect that cancer’s a 24-hour-a-day disease,” said Denise Ause of Lake Tahoe Financial Services. Ause and her husband Steve are co-chairing this year’s event.

“Companies and organizations with teams sometimes dress up” for the relay, she added. Last year’s relay drew about 350 participants.

In addition to the Tahoe-Incline Rotary Club, the North Shore Lions Club, the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District (a team put together by Incline Athletic Club personal trainer John Morris), employees from the Incline Village General Improvement District, Lake Tahoe Financial Services, Sundance Nail Salon, and the Pink Panthers, those rowdy ladies who are cancer survivors, are among the participating groups.

“Morris has a team of 35 and is trying to get The Dream, four girl singers for the relay,” Ause said. He told her he’d been touched by cancer by several family members who’d died of the disease. “He said he didn’t know how anyone could not be touched and want to do something to help.”

Groups and individuals are welcome to participate in this American Cancer Society fund raiser.

“Each person who walks even one lap makes a difference,” said Irene Schwartz, a member of the pink panthers. These women had enjoyed golfing together for years, and as time went by, more of them and their friends had been stricken by cancer. In 1999 they decided to do something about it – something that would include many members of the community.

Schwartz got her golf buddy Erlene Jarcik and others to pitch in to help organize the first Incline Relay for Life.

Ause describes the event as having a carnival atmosphere – something fun for children as well as adults. Music and karaoke, a band and a bagpiper, as well as raffle prizes and sponsor’s booths add to the festivities. The Dixie II and the Tahoe Queen are donating tickets as prizes. Aspiring entertainers and musicians are invited to strut their stuff at the relay.

The Incline Village Community Hospital, a branch of Tahoe Forest Hospital, will provide a mobile van offering blood pressure and pulse aux testing for free. Also, a representative from Mammovan of Nevada will screen women and provide vouchers for a free mammogram to those who qualify and free PSA tests, screening for prostate cancer will be available for men on site.

Anyone may participate in the relay, for free. Those who would like to attend the dinner pay $3 if they have not had cancer; pay $10 for a luminaria candle or $1 to purchase a star that will be hung at a local retail store; $10 pays for registration and includes a free T-shirt.

Teams are encouraged to raise $100 and vendor booths or company sponsorships go for $500.

For more information, to volunteer, to entertain or to sponsor the Relay for Life, contact Denise or Steve Ause at (775) 831-1963.


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