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"Relay for life, and for love"

"For many readers out there, it's always a lot more than just another calendar listing. This year, as we look ahead to the American Cancer Society Relay For Life on Aug. 11-12, that someone is us - and we ask for your generosity and help.This week, the editor of this newspaper learned that his mother has breast cancer, and faces a mastectomy. It is, as any family that has been touched by the scourge of cancer can attest, a time of great uncertainty and no small amount of fear. We can hear her now, reading this commentary when the Review arrives in her mailbox in Oregon next week, and her inevitable exclamation of chagrin - Oh, heavens! - irked that we're making mention of it. But we do so not out of any thought of public sympathy, but rather to remind readers of the suddenness with which cancer can strike, how close to home - and that many in our island community are doing what they can to battle the disease.Dave Erbes, longtime city planning department clerk, is local organizer for this year's Relay For Life, to be held Aug. 11-12 on the North Kitsap High School track. The popular event will bring together teams representing local businesses, agencies and neighborhoods, for a 24-hour walkathon. Anyone who's taken part in this event in past years knows it's a time of good fun, good food and good exercise, perhaps highlighted by the courage in the faces of the cancer survivors who open the event with a lap of their own around the track.Money raised goes to the American Cancer Society, and its ongoing research to defeat a disease that is the number one cause of death among working-age adults - more than alcohol, car accidents, fires, drugs, suicide, homicide and AIDS combined.There's still time to form a relay team, or to make a pledge to one that's already lined up. As always, every dollar is worth immeasurable hope. To contribute, call Dave Erbes at 842-2552 or (360) 779-3052, or email erbesent@aol.com.Do it for someone you know who has suffered cancer, or for someone close to you who has lost someone of their own. Or do it for the editor's mom, who he loves very much.Model citizen Last Wednesday, we honored nine island luminaries for their good works or hard work in our annual Who's Who section.Now we're asked to remind readers that Bainbridge Kiwanis are readying their own award for community service, and are taking nominations for the Bainbridge Island 2000 Citizen of the Year.The criteria are thus: Nominees must be a resident of the island; must be a major contributor to our community and to the well-being of our citizens, and cannot be a member of Kiwanis (no nepotism here).Last year's honoree was Darlene Kordonowy, has amassed quite a track record - chair of the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee; service on the boards of the League Women Voters of Kitsap County, Helpline House, the Bainbridge Island Land Trust, and the Health, Housing and Human Services Council.Who else is out there making a difference? We bet you know someone, and Kiwanis wants to hear from you. Nominations will be taken through Aug. 25; submissions should include the nominee's name, address and phone number, and a description of their contributions to the community.The fun part: The award dinner is Sept. 30 at Wing Point. For information, call Myron Allen, 842-8172."

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