Kodiak’s Relay for Life is normally a fun affair, dotted with moments of solemnity.
On Sunday, the local relay committee put more of the former emotion on display as it held the annual survivors’ luncheon, an event intended to recognize survivors of cancer.
Eating at the same table were the event’s youngest cancer survivor — six-year-old Colin Hoffert — and its oldest, 100-year-old Wilma Finlay.
“She had breast cancer when she was 80,” said Jan Finlay as she glued together a paper chain on a table set aside for the purpose.
Survivors, after eating, were encouraged to create paper chains, with each link representing a year after a cancer diagnosis. “When you put it in this perspective, it’s nice to see,” Jan Finlay said.
The chains will be carried or put on display during the 24-hour relay, which runs from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday at Woody Way Field.
Colin Hoffert’s chain was four links long. As his mother, Jenny, explained, “he was diagnosed four years ago today.”
Organizers of the relay have scheduled one final meeting, at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the St. Mary’s Catholic Church Marion Center, to hand out event T-shirts and finalize schedules. Relay team leaders are encouraged to attend.
Events similar to Kodiak's are held across the country each year to raise money for the American Cancer Society.