Relay moving this year
The weather hasn't cooperated for Tonganoxie's Relay for Life the last two years.
Local organizers hope a different location will help the American Cancer Society's nationwide drive.
A tornado two years ago and a thunderstorm last year hindered the Relay for Life in Tonganoxie. This year, Tonganoxie has merged with the Leavenworth County Relay for Life on May 10-11 at Leavenworth's Abeles Field. The event begins at 5 p.m. May 10 and runs until noon the next day.
Debbie Krivjansky, Tonganoxie's contact for the event, hoped the charity would be successful in Leavenworth. She said the weather has made it difficult for a local group to gain momentum.
"Leavenworth County's is already established. We thought we'd piggy-back on them," she said.
Residents form teams for the event and raise money for the event. The team goal is that at least one team participant walks or jogs at all times.
Krivjansky has been involved in the event since 1995, five of those in Wyandotte County's event and the last three in Tonganoxie.
Relay for Life has been special to Krivjansky. Her grandfather, Bud Shoemaker died after battling cancer in September 1995. Krivjansky's grandmother, Agnes Shoemaker, died in June 1996 after her own bout with the disease. On the day the family was planning to participate in the Relay for Life, a priest gave Shoemaker her last rite at a local hospital.
The registration deadline for this year's Relay for Life is Tuesday, although Krivjansky thought teams could possibly enter after that. The team fee is $50, and that money can come from funds raised toward the event.
The Leavenworth Relay for Life has other festivities in conjunction with the relay. The event begins with cancer survivors taking a lap around the track.
An illuminating ceremony will also honor cancer survivors and those who have died because of the disease. Luminary bags, which cost $10, honor survivors and those who have died. Their names are written on the bags and announced during the ceremony.
"It's kind of emotional if you have someone who died from cancer," Krivjansky said. "It's really pretty, too."
People also bring tents for the event, and the team with the best-decorated tent is recognized. Krivjansky said teams have had themes, such as a '70s look with an old Volkswagen or a MASH unit.
To contact Krivjansky, call her at First State Bank and Trust, (913) 845-2500, or at home, (913) 369-9201.