Dinner party

Meal to celebrate cancer survivors Tues.
Local cancer survivors head out for the Survivors Lap at a recent Relay for Life in Dillon.

The July 11 Survivors Dinner in Dillon will take participants to Hawaii to help honor the long, sometimes hard, often exhilarating path of life they continue to walk and dance down following their cancer diagnoses.

“The Survivors Dinner is an event to honor survivors and recognize the journey they are travelling,” explained Misti Wahl of the annual event, which this year will offer a 6:30 p.m. Hawaiian luau following a 5:30 p.m. social hour at the Elks Lodge in downtown Dillon.

“We just want it to be a celebration for the survivors who keep celebrating birthdays.”

Free to survivors and their guests, the dinner will serve sweet and sour pork and teriyaki chicken over Polynesian rice, according to Wahl, who is serving with Lori Roberts as a co-chair of the local 2017 Relay for Life set to take place next month, on Aug. 4.

“We’ve always had a survivor dinner with Relay for Life, but it wasn’t always separate from Relay,” said Wahl.

“Dinner used to take place during Relay for Life, when it was at the high school and Dillon Middle School. Now that we’re at the hospital, we try to have a more intimate gathering a few weeks before Relay, so it’s a separate event and the survivors get more recognition,” continued Wahl.

“So much goes on during Relay.”

Despite being compressed to one night and eight hours, instead of extending past midnight and beyond dawn the next morning as in past years, the 2017 Relay for Life promises to include most of the activities that have made it one of the most popular community gatherings in past years.

The schedule will include the kickoff barbecue dinner, which was originally going to be dropped this year, but got picked back up by Dillon Kiwanis, which used to host the Saturday morning breakfast.

The 2017 Relay for Life will bring back the Face Your Hope Ceremony, Survivors Lap, Luminaria Lighting, oodles of kids fun and food, and debut a new carnival-style midway full of games.

An international event held in thousands of communities in more than two dozen countries, Relay for Life involves teams and individuals circling the Kennedy Walking Trail by Barrett Hospital to raise money for the American Cancer Society to further cancer research and support cancer survivors and their families.
People can sign up by going to www.relayforlife.org, with teams registering through Jennifer Westfall (406-660-1416).

Any cancer survivor interested in attending the Survivors Dinner on Tuesday, July 11, should call Judy Westfall (406-660-0387).