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Jan Mayer and Rita Taylor encourage people to pick up a special labeled empty pill bottle to fill with quarters for Relay for Life. BONNIE FUSSELL

The Portland Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society is getting underway in Portland. Kathie Killebrew and Martha Blackburn are serving as co-chairs this year. The main event is scheduled for April 24 at Portland East Middle School.


Teams are organizing and individual team fundraising projects have begun. One of the most well-attended events is the Divas program, which originally began as a ladies’ night out, but because of its popularity it is now open to all who want to come. It has been renamed to Divas Saturday Night Live.


This year the Divas will be going country with their music so expect to see the lyrics of some of your favorite country songs rewritten to health themes. Their program is titled Gone Country. Rita Taylor heads that night up and the divas are from the area. This year the young divas will have their own song and dance routine.


The fourth radiothon on WQKR will be held on April 17 beginning on Good Morning, Portland. Jennifer Wix heads up that fundraiser. That program surpasses its goal each year with last year being no exception with over $5,000 raised. People call in pledges or bring them by the station. Many cancer survivors tell their success stories during the day-long radiothon broadcast. In addition to calling in pledges, there is a silent auction in the radio studio. People can come in during the week and bid on items. Times to begin bidding and the ending time for the silent auction will be announced later. 


Jan Mayer and Rita Taylor are heading up the Prescription for a Cure fundraiser project. This idea is new to the Portland Relay. People are asked to get a special labeled pill bottle from Mayer or Taylor and fill them with quarters. When the bottle is filled, it is to be returned to them. People can fill as many bottles with quarters as they want. Village Drugs and the Portland Prescription Shop have donated the empty pill bottles for the project. It is a way for anyone to get involved in helping to find a cure for cancer. That program has begun.


Co-chair Killebrew said, “We would like to send a huge invite to everyone and anyone from near and far to come help us celebrate life and more birthdays. We fight each and every day for those who can’t, so we can help others live longer and cancer free. It all started with just one man, who saw too many of his friends dying from this dreadful disease. Let’s walk and make a difference.”


As teams get organized, there will be additional fundraising projects leading up to the big community night for Relay for Life.

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