Twin Bridges Elementary Students show support one step at a time

Twin Bridges teacher Kathy Keltner tells elementary students about the Relay For Life before they kick off the K-6 Walk For Cancer Monday at Carroll Field in Twin Bridges. Photo by Ben Coulter

TWIN BRIDGES – Elementary school children from Twin Bridges gathered Monday behind the school on the track at Carroll Field to walk in unison for 30 minutes as a show of support for the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life.

Most of the kids gleefully took advantage of the opportunity to frolic in the sunshine, but other students along with teachers and parents walked with a purpose in knowing they supported a good cause.

The Relay For Life is a signature fundraiser put on by the American Cancer Society where teams of people take turns walking through the night to raise money for cancer research and awareness. As volunteer Rosemary Griffin explains, there is a reason for this.

“It affects people and strikes people at any time of the day or night,” Griffin said. “The reason why we have this in the evening is because cancer doesn’t sleep.”

Lora Bell, survivorship chairperson for Southwest Montana Relay For Life, has seen the value of community outreach for cancer awareness through her sister, a 30-year cancer survivor.

Twin Bridges sixth grader Roman Henrickson wears an orange safety cone on his head as walks around the track at Carroll Field Monday during the K-6 Walk for Cancer, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society similar to Relay For Life. Photo by Ben Coulter

“It’s come a long way,” Bell said of cancer research. “It’s because of this kind of thing and the money that we raise that the treatments are so much better now.”

Griffin added that programs like Relay For Life offers a huge network of support for cancer victims in their time of need.

“If you don’t have anybody, it’s easy to give up,” she said. “So through Relay For Life and some of the programs they have, people can help find caregivers, and they can help find people that can support that person who might not have anybody.”

Going into the walk Twin Bridges principal Aaron Griffin had collected more than $170 from elementary students, and by the end of the day the students raised nearly $400 in donations to the American Cancer Society.

Superintendent Chad Johnson said the day originally started out as an end-of-the-year play day for students.

“We wanted to throw in some other stuff so we thought we’d do a barbecue for the elementary parents,” Johnson said. “We’ve been asked the last couple of years to do this walk for cancer, and we’ve got plenty of community members affected by it.”

This year the Relay For Life of Madison County is scheduled for June 22-23 on the football field in Sheridan, and Relay For Life of Southwest Montana is scheduled for July 27-28 at Dillon Middle School. To register for the event visit the Madison County Relay for Live website or the Southwest Montana Relay for Life website.

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