Many organizations and businesses in Russellville came together Oct. 9, to support the Russellvillets Relay for Life Team during its First Annual Block Party/Street Dance held in downtown Russellville.
Pam Sandidge is a member of the Russellvillets and was also one of the coordinators of the event. She said the event was held to raise money for the American Cancer Society with 100 percent of the money raised going to the society.
"We formed a team back in March," Sandidge said. "There is a big need here in Russellville with a lot of cancer victims and families. Rayma Anderson is a team member and she came up with the idea to have a block party/street dance while we were talking about possible fundraisers. We agreed and went from there."
The event started with a balloon launch in honor of those afflicted by cancer, victims, survivors and their families. The block party/street dance included plenty of games and a hayride sponsored by the Russellville High School FFA, a concession booth run by Moose Brothers Barbecue and the local 4-H club, a scarecrow making contest, face painting and a haunted house run by the Russellville High School Music Department.
Sandidge said while they are a small team with only six members they had a lot of donations from local businesses and organizations of materials, prizes and time.
"We had a lot of people here in Russellville who were more than willing to help us," she said. "We have a dj who was willing to donate equipment and his services for free. The community was very involved in the event and the volunteers helped get this started."
Sandidge got involved with Relay for Life after seeing the results of cancer in her family and while getting through her own health issues met a lot of those afflicted with cancer. Sandidge said she made a promise to each of them once she was healthy she would fight the battle against cancer for them.
"There is no age or social bracket for cancer," she said. "Everyone I talked to was really looking forward to the event and gave a lot of support. Russellville is a really good community and this was a way of having a community event for Relay for Life. In the future we will learn and grow from the event. We are going to plan earlier so we can have even more involvement and making it an even bigger community event."
Sandidge added the children who volunteered were great and were willing to give back.
"I think people really see there is a need for Relay for Life," she said, "and a need for cancer victims to have support, somewhere to go and someone to help fight the battle for them when they cannot fight any longer."
She added if there is someone who is a cancer victim or involved with one to definitely check out the American Cancer Society.
"They are a lot more than just about research," Sandidge said. "They provide a lot of transportation, networking and counseling. If you are a cancer patient or know of someone who is, you really need to check with the American Cancer Society and see if they have something which could benefit you."
For more information about the American Cancer Society, call 1-800-227-2345 or go to www.cancer.org. For more information about the Russellvillets, call Sandidge at 1-573-694-9439.