Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

June 19, 2012

Memories make the Relay For Life basket auction special

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A very special basket and prize auction is coming up Saturday; one that is dedicated to loved ones who have battled cancer. This week’s Spotlight shines on the Memory Basket Auction at the Relay For Life.

The auction committee has been collecting some very special donations for the Chinese auction-style event at the Relay this weekend at the Emmet Belknap School track.

Visitors will find the usual array of prizes, baskets and gift certificates, but the auction is much more than just merchandise. Relay teams and others have been assembling Memory Baskets, with each one dedicated to a family member, friend or co-worker who has battled cancer. The baskets are accompanied by a story telling about the person being honored; sometimes there are photographs.

Under the auction tents, visitors take the time to read the poignant tributes that put a face on the victims of cancer. Some will make you laugh, some will make you cry, and all will touch your heart.

A basket with soft pillows and a throw reminds valued caregivers to take time to rest and to wrap themselves in love and prayers. Families of children lost to cancer keep their memories alive by putting together donations and stories to share. The auction tent, with its personal stories, brings home the need to keep up the fight against cancer.

There are some wonderful prizes for the large item raffle table, including a 42-inch flat screen television, handcrafted Adirondack chairs, a fabulous outdoor grill, a golf bag and accessories, and others. When it comes to fighting cancer, people give generously and from the heart. Tickets for special items will be sold at $1 each.

You never know what you’ll find in the baskets; everything from children’s toys and kitchen utensils to wine, snacks, jewelry and beauty and pampering supplies. Local artists have donated their works. Outdoor fans will find baskets of fishing supplies, picnic supplies, beach supplies, camping certificates and more. There are lottery ticket baskets and a basket with an electronic Bingo game and supplies for the gamers. There are also certificates for admissions to local amusement parks, concerts, local restaurants, hair salons, spas and attractions. There is something for everyone in the auction at the Relay For Life.

Teams get creative when trying to match the contents of a basket to a personality. A past basket of cleaning supplies honored a lady who kept a spotless home, while a basket of convenience foods poked loving humor at the idea that she would rather clean than cook.

As you stroll among the tables piled high with gaily-wrapped baskets and prizes, it is a strong reminder that cancer can strike anyone. It happens to the fisherman, the guy who plays poker, the doctor, the cleaning lady and the very young. While we have made great strides in cancer prevention, early detection and treatments, the battle continues. All proceeds from the Relay For Life of Lockport go to the American Cancer Society. In its 12th year, the local Relay has raised well nearly a million-and-a-half dollars for cancer education, services, research and advocacy. While many people will be winners of prizes large and small at the Relay auction, the real winner will be the American Cancer Society and those who are faced with the cancer diagnosis.

There is no admission to the Relay For Life and the community is invited to take part in activities that begin at 2 p.m. and continue through the night. Auction tickets will be sold from 2 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with a drawing following. Winners will be posted at the end of the Luminaria Ceremony and participants need not be present to win. Tickets are $5 per sheet of 25. Emmet Belknap is at 491 High St. Food, snacks and beverages will be available on site, with lots of free entertainment and activities for all ages. This year’s them is “Hoedown For Hope.” The Honorary survivors are the five Sammarco brothers, originally from Lockport, all of whom have beaten prostate cancer. Opening ceremonies begin at 6 p.m. and the Luminaria ceremony is at 10.

Let’s tip over some more bushels and let the light of our brightest and best shine through! There are a lot of people in our communities, people who do things without being asked and without expecting thanks. Send your information or nomination to the address below and we’ll turn on the light!

juliechatterbox@msn.com or Julie Obermiller, 8691 Lake Road No. 9, Barker NY 14012.