Relay will be wedding party’s tribute

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 9, 2003

Jodi Flogstad was to have been the personal attendant in Jill Slette’s wedding on Saturday.

That is, until cancer took her life in June.

“It’s hard for us not to have her here,” Slette said of her other college friends from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Email newsletter signup

So after the groom’s dinner Friday evening, to honor Flogstad’s memory, 10 or more of her friends will be walking for a couple hours in the first American Cancer Society Relay for Life in Freeborn County.

“It will be a special way to honor her memory,” Slette said.

Slette is selling luminaria bags, which people decorate to honor and remember in a special way someone who has fought cancer. The bags contain a candle to be lit in a special ceremony.

“We’ll be making a donation too,” Slette said.

The Relay for Life begins at 6 p.m. Friday at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds, and runs until 6 a.m. The Relay for Life is a unique fund-raising event held in numerous counties throughout the United States by the American Cancer Society. Participants collect donations prior to the event and then come together for the relay. Activities include the opening ceremony with the survivor victory lap, luminaria lighting ceremony, entertainment, food, music, games, education and closing ceremony. Team members take turns walking around the track and enjoy sharing stories, camping out and the pride of knowing they are there helping in the battle against cancer.

According to Jennifer Habana, co-chairwoman of the event, 24 teams have registered to participate. “Our goal for this first Relay for Life was 10 teams, so we’re really pleased.”

She said she believes the good response is because most people have known someone who has fought cancer, and this is one way they can do something to help.

Habana said teams are comprised of businesses, the medical center, families and groups of friends, including a women’s golf group.

Cancer survivors and those undergoing treatment are invited to take the first lap of the relay, and are urged to be at the fairgrounds by 5:45 p.m. to register. Letters of invitation went out to those the group knew are cancer survivors, but anyone who was missed is urged to call Karen Rugroden at 377-2507.

“We know there are a lot of them out there,” she said of the survivors.

It’s still not too late to get a team together, Habana said. “We’ll take registrations right up through Friday,” she said.

People also don’t have to be part of a team or to walk the entire time. “We want all of Freeborn County to come out,” she said, adding luminaria bags will be sold until 8 p.m.

On-stage entertainment includes Todd Utpadel and George Marin from 5:45-6:15 p.m.; opening announcements from 6:15-6:20 p.m.; the “American Anthem” song by Todd Utpadel from 6:20-6:30 p.m.; opening ceremony and reading of survivors’ names from 6:30-7:30 p.m. with Jordan Elleby on banjo; the Careyaires from 7:30-8 p.m. with Jordan Elleby on banjo; David Jo and magician Jim Jayes from 8-9 p.m.; the luminaria ceremony from 9-9:05 p.m.; Family Affair and magician Jim Jayes from 9:05-10 p.m.; LD Cruiser and the Tones from 10-11 p.m.; Turkish Towels from 11 p.m.-midnight; karaoke hour from midnight-1 p.m.; and karaoke hour from 1-6 a.m.

Off-stage entertainment includes a face painter, balloon animals, carnival games and a scavenger hunt, as well as door prizes. There will also be fun activities for walkers, including a poker run, American Band Stand, musical pizza boxes, hot potato and a silly fashion show.

For more information on the Relay for Life, call Habana at 373-0319 or her co-chair, Kim Nelson at 373-2570.