This may have been the 1st Annual Kickin’ Cancer in Redwood County event but this initiative goes back much further. Formally known as the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Redwood County, we have continued to bring energy to these goals with a new, local light. We recognize and appreciate the time and dedication individuals put into the Relay for Life organization and are looking forward to continuing these efforts with a focus on raising funds for Redwood County.
As a nonprofit organization, with no affiliation, Kickin’ Cancer in Redwood County is able to designate where the funds collected will be distributed. Majority of the funds will be kept right here in Redwood County with donations to organizations dedicated to cancer research such as American Cancer Society and our local cancer care center. Rather than sending a large portion of the funds to national organizations, we are focused on helping our neighbors, friends and family in and near Redwood County.
What Happened at the First Annual Kickin’ Cancer Event?
Survivor registration was kicked off at 4:30pm on Friday, July 30, 2021 at the Gilfillan Estates. Attendees ate and enjoyed a variety of activities including the silent auction, wine pull and kids grab bags.
The opening ceremony began at 7:00pm with a welcome from board member and MC Roger Pabst. The invocation was done by Father Tony Hesse with the presentation of colors by the American Legion Post #38. Special thanks to Derek Bebeau for leading the national anthem.
Kickin’ Cancer provided an update and thanked the many corporate sponsors that make our organization possible. A balloon release was done and survivors were recognized. The honorary chairs and honorary caregivers were presented as well. To end the ceremony all survivors were invited to make the Survivor Lap around the track of luminaries. The Survivor Lap is a time for many to reflect and appreciate the journey they have had.
2021 Honorary Chairs & Honorary Caregivers
Caren Swoboda is recognized as the 2021 Honorary Caregiver, acknowledging the years that she has cared for her husband and two of her sons throughout their cancer journeys, even while enduring her own. The 2021 Event Honorary Co-Chairs are Lewis & Caren Swoboda. Lewis was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in February of 2010 and Caren was diagnosed with breast cancer in February of 2012.
The Swobodas have been actively involved in past relays. For many years they helped fill the luminaries and used to serve breakfast to those who relayed through the night. The couple was honored to be recognized, especially in knowing that there are so many others who also have a story to tell. Caren reflects: “Getting through this is all about working together. Working with your spouse, family, and the doctors and nurses in the cancer unit. We are so thankful that we have those around us and each other.”