Guthrie County prepares for Saturday’s event

This Saturday Guthrie County is celebrating “20 Years of Stompin’ Out Cancer.”

The Relay for Life event will be at the Guthrie County Fairgrounds Event Center in Guthrie Center from 4 to 10 p.m. Jenna Morris and Becky Peterson are the co-chairs for the event. This is Morris’ first year being co-chair, and she says the organization is special to her because she has family members who have fought breast cancer.

“There’s only so many ways you can help them, but this is kind of my way,” she said.

Morris was born and raised in Guthrie County. She, along with Peterson, have been working with a team to get ready for Saturday’s big event. 

“It’s like everybody’s family,” she said. “You know all of them, because when you’re from a small town, everybody knows everybody, so that’s nice to open up about. Our meetings are interesting to say the least because we stay on topic and then we get off topic. It’s anything goes, but whatever we say stays amongst us girls, just like family.”

There are also literal family ties involved, as Morris and Kim Durst, a senior community development manager with the American Cancer Society, are cousins. Durst works with Relay events in other places in Iowa.

“She is just in it whole-hearted,” Morris said about her cousin. “It’s great. You need somebody like her, and I’m glad to call her friend and family.”

The family connection brings Guthrie County’s Relay that much closer to Durst’s heart. 

“I enjoy doing the relay in my hometown and being amongst everyone that are my family and friends, it makes it pretty sentimental,” she said. 

Registration for survivors and caregivers is from 4 to 6 p.m. with a dinner served at 5 p.m. There is a silent auction taking place 4 to 8:30 p.m., with the items up for auction donated from around the community. Proceeds from the silent auction also go to Relay for Life.

Starting at 5 p.m. and continuing throughout the evening there will be yard games, a cake walk and face painting and coloring for kids.

The opening ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. There will be other events throughout the evening, including a live pie auction. 

Lillian Gilson will be speaking and is the event’s honorary survivor. She helped start Relay for Life in Guthrie County.

Closing Ceremonies begin at 8:30 p.m. After the closing ceremonies, there will be music inside, where participants can bring in lawn chairs, coolers and relax after the long day.

“You know somebody that this could impact,” Morris said. “Just a simple phone call could give them countless resources as far as transportation, lodging, anything to help them take the burden away. You don’t think one phone call could do that, but it does.”