Power in Purple: Relay for Life Kickoff 

By Larry E. Ross

Cancer. It is the scariest 6-letter word anyone could potentially hear in their lifetime. Luckily, there are ways to find support and healthcare to help those who are battling and for those helping friends or family fight the battle. The American Cancer Society (ACS) is there to help people find information on treatments, diagnosis, and even cancer itself.

ACS is a non-profit organization that raises money to help offer programs to those in this fight. There are several events every year to help raise this money and to show the community’s support of those who have fought and won, are still fighting, and those who have lost the fight but are there in spirit to help those who fight.

Relay for Life is one of the many events to help raise money. It is the largest world-wide fundraising events with approximately 4 million participants. This year Natchitoches Parish is stepping up its fight against cancer. This year, 15 people will wear purple, in some form or fashion, every day for the next month to help raise money. This campaign is called “Power in Purple.”

There was a kick-off party for the Relay season tonight at a local restaurant March 25. Attendees included a few the participants of Power in Purple and Mitzi LaSalle, the senior manager of ACS in Natchitoches and Alexandria, among other cities in Louisiana.

“When I heard this challenge back in the fall of last year, I thought ‘I don’t really wear purple that much, but this would be a very interesting challenge to take on,’” said Craig Caskey. “I slid Danielle a piece of paper during a meeting that said ‘I want to do this.’”

“We met over lunch and discussed the plan and who we could get involved,” Danielle Antoon said. Antoon is the local ACS representative for DeSoto, Winn, and Natchitoches Parishes.

The Participants of Power in Purple are:
Craig Caskey and Don Butler – Alliance Compressors
Rev. Steve McAllister – Westside Baptist Church
Dr. Martin Aviles – Natchitoches Women’s Care
Mace Morris – Natural Springs Garden Center
Dr. Mark Melder, Vanner Erikson, and Frank Hall – Northwestern State University
Keith Ducote – Gulf Coast Chemical
Reinnette Foster – USDA Rural Development
Chelsea McQuillin – Bank of Montgomery
Jason Edwards – Durham Bus Services
Amy Edwards – Fit-In-Time
Dr. Lakyn Baker – Walmart Pharmacy

There are over 20 teams participating in this year’s Relay for Life. The event will be held at the NSU Tailgate Field on April 28. It will begin at 6pm and will roll through the night until 2am on April 29. Prior to that, there will be a Survivors’ Dinner at 4:30pm.

For more information on Relay for Life visit: acsevents.org. If you or anyone you know is in need of any information on cancer, diagnosis, or treatment options please call: 1-800-227-2345 or visit: cancer.org. These lines are open 24/7. They are there for you. You will always have their support as well as many other people in your community, including myself. Fight and fight hard.