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Column: GET HIGH ON LIFE

Harold Keller / L’Observateur / May 4, 1998

RELAY FOR LIFE AN EXAMPLE OF LOVING HOPE

I’ve heard it said that people can be classified into two groups – people who make good choices and people who make bad choices. That soundspretty good, but I prefer the saying that people are either selfish or unselfish or, to be more specific, givers or takers. The givers are the oneswho have found the secret to living and that’s giving of oneself. The Biblesays it’s more blessed to give than to receive.

Last Saturday, my wife and I were scheduled to be out of town, but instead my wife chose to go with our daughter, Ronny, and her family to a function at the Joe Keller Memorial Stadium in LaPlace. It was a cancer fund-raising event and was billed as “Relay for Life.”I got home at 11:30 that night, and my wife was still up. Before I could sitdown, she said, “Harold, you missed it! It was one of the nicest things I’ve ever attended. Next year, you have to go,” she insisted.She then explained that different sponsors had booths and raised money to support the cause.

The next day I called Ronny, and she was even more excited than her mother about what took place the night before in the Relay for Life.

The people responsible for the fund raiser were Bobbie Zaidain, her two daughters, Laura (a cancer survivor who emceed the event) and Christine, and Green Millet. The activities started at 7 p.m. Saturday and lasted until6 a.m. Sunday. Bobbie told me that $31,078.23 was raised for the AmericanCancer Society.

The evening opened with several cancer survivors sharing their testimonies. They were grateful for the medical advances made in treatingthis dreadful disease and gave thanks to God for healing their bodies.

The survivors walked the first lap around the track and were then joined by their family and friends for the second lap. Sixteen relay teams ofsponsors and supporters continued walking and running throughout the night.

At one time, all the lights were turned off and approximately 1,300 luminaries, placed around the track, were lit in honor of those who lost the fight against cancer and also to those who have been healed, or still continue to fight for their lives.

My wife and daughter were very impressed by the teams of young people from Riverside Academy who were there supporting Mrs. Vera Heltz andCoach Mickey Roussel, both cancer patients. They walked, ran and playedvolleyball into the night until the next morning – having a good, clean time and excited about being a part of a worthy cause. That’s proof that ouryoung people just want to be involved.

It must have been a great night! I’m sorry I missed it. Next year, however,I definitely will attend.

To Bobbie, Laura, Christine and Greer: On behalf of the people in the tri- parish area, I say thanks a million! Bobbie, evidently your family has found the secret to living.

Harold Keller is a regular columnist for L’Observateur.

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