Dillon working to make Relay for Life a success

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 27, 2000

Cyndie Dillon of Vidalia, La., knows firsthand that cancer could strike her friends or family members — and in case it does, she wants to make sure researchers are one step closer to a cure.

Make that many steps.

For the past four years, Dillon has served on the organizational committee for Relay for Life, an annual walk-a-thon to raise money to find a cure for the disease, and she is serving as chairman this year.

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Between her job at Callon Petroleum, shuttling her five children to and from their various activities and working with various other non-profit causes, Dillon would have plenty of excuses not to serve.

&uot;With God’s help, my family’s help and a lot of wee hours, lunch hours and late hours, I&160;seem to get it all done,&uot; Dillon said.

But when her father’s only sister died of cancer 10 years ago and one of her co-workers died of the disease five years ago, Dillon saw firsthand the pain cancer causes for those with the disease and for their loved ones.

So when she was asked four years ago to help organize and publicize Relay for Life, she jumped in with both feet.

And this year’s race, which will be held from 7 p.m. May 19 to 7 a.m. May 20 on the riverfront in Vidalia, promises to be bigger than ever.

So far, 38 teams have signed up for the event, a few more than this time last year. The band Legacy and soloist Jason Ellington will perform, and there will be balloon rides, a dunking booth, a space walk, pony rides and other activities for children.

There will also be special activities to keep participants awake from midnight until 6 a.m., including a dance contest and a mummy wrap contest. Raffles will be held for a seven-day cruise for two and a Monmouth dinner and overnight stay for two.

And just as in previous years, a luminary service will be held and the names of cancer sufferers will be read.

Dillon is also vice president of the American Cancer Society’s Miss-Lou Chapter. She is active with the American Heart Association, the Concordia Parish Abstinence Committee, Highland Baptist Church, Pilgrimage Garden Club, Vidalia Chamber of Commerce and Vidalia Women’s Club.