Relay Time: Take steps for cancer research

Relay for Life returns next month, to its original location, HRVHS, after a three-year sojourn at Hood River County Fairgrounds. Every location has its merits but it calls to mind the adage, “The journey is more important than the destination.” Those involved focus more on the purpose than anything else.

“No finish line until we find a cure” is one motto of the American Cancer Society event.

Relay will be July 20-21, and while it may be about a month away, this is still the time to be thinking about, and supporting, Relay for Life. Teams walk for 24 hours in support of cancer research and funding to assist families and survivors of all forms of cancer.

There’s a sort of a carnival air to the event, with games, costumes, food, music and other fun aspects. But overall it is a solemn event, one in which people of this community, including many people currently battling cancer, take real steps together to raise funds and raise awareness. It is truly important work, for an organization that has a record of ensuring that funds go where they are intended.

What is needed now are people to take the path of support, be it as walkers or donors. Here are three ways:

n Teams are still being formed (call Veronica Moline at 541-490-1722 for details.)

n Purchase a light for the Luminaria ceremony.

The event at the heart of the event is when the track is encircled with lights, luminaria, placed to honor the memory of someone who has passed or is affected by the disease. The lights represent hope and courage for those who continue to fight cancer. Luminaria can be purchased via Relay for Life of the Columbia Gorge, 0330 S.W. Curry St., Portland, OR 97239, or contact Anita or Chey at 541-399-2130.

n Join the Survivors Walk. This is the stirring beginning of every Relay. Purple-shirted survivors are joined by friends and family for the first walk of the relay. It’s a chance for all involved to express, and draw, encouragement for relay and for the months and years ahead.

If you are a survivor and wish to participate, contact Angela Balzer at 541-490-4343.

For any details about Columbia Gorge Relay, go to www.relayforlifeorg./ColumbiaGorgeOR

You don’t need to have cancer, or know anyone who does, to get involved in Relay. The event has seen a decline in overall participation in the last few years, but the spirit and enthusiasm for it have only increased. Survivors, family members, and those who organize the annual event deserve the support of the community, in whatever way individuals, businesses and organizations can help.

Looking ahead to the return to the track that is Relay’s location, May the Oval Be Unbroken.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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