The Huntington County Relay for Life, which will be held on June 8 this year, is designed not only as a fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society but also as a means of paying tribute to those who have touched the lives of others during their fight against the disease.
One inspiring cancer survivor will be selected as the recipient of the 2013 Eunice Coates Spirit Award, named in honor of the late Eunice Coates, a founding member of the local Relay for Life committee.
Nominations for the award are being accepted from the community. Nominees should be cancer survivors who have touched the lives of others by showing courage, faith and spirit in the fight against cancer and who have reached out to others to help them in their own battles against the disease.
The 2012 Eunice Coates Spirit Award recipient, Sister Grace Marie Samblanet, exemplifies the qualities the award was designed to honor.
Samblanet, a member of Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters, was treated successfully after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2007. She initiated a cancer support group at Victory Noll, where 11 other sisters were battling cancer.
"A ‘new normal' concept is valuable for me," Samblanet says. "One lets go of what was normal before the cancer experience, or a chronic illness or trauma, and eases into what is a ‘new normal' way of life.
"It took time to remind myself of this concept and to recognize when to act upon it. I find this concept in my everyday life brings a level of peace and openness to enjoy the activities and events of the day according to one's energy.
"Volunteering and giving time to another's need can bring a small light to another's darkness."
Samblanet previously served as coordinator of the health center at Victory Noll and is currently involved in a campaign to end human trafficking. She continues to investigate cancer research and shares the information with others who have cancer.
Nominations for the Eunice Coates Spirit Award should include a brief description of the nominee's story and impact he or she has had on others.
Nominations should be mailed to Sally Grimes at 3857W-700N, Huntington, IN 46750 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The nomination deadline is June 4. For additional information, contact Grimes at 358-6614.
The Relay for Life will begin at 2 p.m. on June 8 at Kriegbaum Field. The recipient of the Eunice Coates Spirit Award will be announced at 5 p.m. Following the announcement, cancer survivors will take a victory lap around the track. Survivors will then be treated to dinner.
For reservations, contact Grimes at 358-6614, Paula Rowe at 356-2361 or Sara Baker at 672-3957.
A luminaria ceremony, honoring those who are deceased, those who are currently fighting cancer and those who have won their battle, will be held at 9:45 p.m.