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Honoring cancer survivors

By Meg Dickens
Freelance Writer

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” is the Bible verse that serves as the theme of this year’s Johnson County Survivor’s Dinner.

Formerly an annual event through Relay for Life with the American Cancer Society, the torch is now passed to Johnson County Bank along with the Levi Retirees.The joint effort involves 24 bank employees and 11 retirees and is a part of Johnson County Bank’s annual nonprofit support.For 2018, the Johnson County Bank employees decided to breathe life back into this beloved event. There will be dinner, a short walk around the block, a city-sanctioned balloon release and free t-shirts all at no cost to the guests. Survivors also get a plus one.

“These people have gone through so much that they just need to be pampered and encouraged in their strength to go on as well as they can,” said event coordinator Sandy Snyder.

It is not the first time for Johnson County Bank employees and the Levi Retirees to show their support for cancer patients and survivors. Both groups donated a considerable amount of money to the Johnson County Cancer Support Group in July, when Johnson County Bank donated $2,500, while the Levi Retirees and friends donated $3,750.

Their support is not only monetary. Johnson County Bank employee and District 5 Commissioner Megan McEwen previously ran this event for several years after Relay for Life’s Lesa Brown’s who stepped down after many years of service. McEwen pitched the idea to the loan department, and they agreed wholeheartedly. Several bank employees previously lost parents to cancer or currently have parents with the diagnosis.

The Levi Retirees are long-time volunteers for the Johnson County Cancer Survivor’s Dinner. They cater the dinner annually without expecting anything in return. It is amazing how much such a small group can do. “The Levi Retirees are a great asset to the community. They are eager to help and provide the food at no charge,” said Snyder.

The American Cancer Society estimates that there are currently 15.5 million cancer survivors in the United States alone. Statistically, it is likely that you know someone with the diagnosis or know someone who does. The point of this event is to “touch anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer.” Every attendee is a guest of honor in their own right, and the volunteers would love to celebrate as many people as possible. They are hoping for at least 200 guests

“It’s a wonderful thing they do,” said local survivor Cathy Soulder. “I attend every year.”

Contact Sandy Snyder or Donna Kirby at Johnson County Bank at 423-727-7701 for more information..

The deadline for registration is August 31, and the dinner is scheduled for the last week of September. The previous attendee list is in possession of Relay for Life, so it is important to contact the volunteers above to receive an invitation.