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franklin county times

Smart Shop: Life-saving information at Relay for Life

By Staff
HEALTH TIPS Kade Graham, left, gets sun screen and health tips on protecting her skin from Judith Beesley, chairman of this year's Relay for Life Smart Shop. Kade, 5, is the daughter of Kelda and Chan Graham of Meridian. Skin cancer awareness is one of six areas on which Smart Shop volunteers will focus Friday during Relay for Life. Photo by Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
June 5, 2003
Lauderdale County's annual all-night Relay for Life event is filled with entertainment, food, companionship, competition and recognition.
Although the event completes the county-wide fund-raising efforts for the American Cancer Society, organizers make sure educating the community about the early detection and prevention of cancer is still a big part of the evening.
Year after year, the Relay for Life Smart Shop is active at Meridian High School's Ray Stadium, which will be converted into a campground Friday night.
Long-time American Cancer Society volunteer Betty Lou Jones of Meridian is the publicity chairman of this year's Relay for Life. She said the Smart Shop concept began with the first local Relay event nine years ago.
Anyone who visits the various Smart Shop booths will be able to earn points for Relay for Life teams. The points figure into the Team Participation Award; the winning team will receive a trophy.
This year's Smart Shop chairman is Judith Beesley, oncology registrar at Jeff Anderson Regional Cancer Center.
Beesley has worked on organizing the Smart Shop for several months. The Smart Shop will be set up at the Relay for Life all-night gathering Friday at Meridian High School's Ray Stadium. It will be manned by health care professionals who can answer questions from the public.
Beesley said there will be a booth for each of the six focus areas at the Smart Shop this year: skin cancer awareness; blood pressure screening; smoking cessation; nutrition; women's health; and men's health.
Free literature on the topics also will be available in the Smart Shop, which will be open from 6 p.m.-10 p.m.
People who take advantage of the information at each of the Smart Shop booths earn points for teams they designate.
As an oncology registrar, Beesley, 20, maintains a database of all newly diagnosed cancer cases and collects follow-up information on patients.
Beesley is a graduate of Meridian Community College, where she earned her associate's degree in health information technology.
The Lauderdale County Relay for Life campaign raises money for the American Cancer Society. Last year, the local campaign raised more than $395,000. This year's Relay will be held at Meridian High School's Ray Stadium beginning at 7 p.m. Friday and ending at 6 a.m. Saturday.
The Relay for Life Smart Shop will be set up at Survivors Headquarters at the stadium from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Friday. Information will be available on the following:
Skin cancer awareness
Blood pressure screening
Smoking cessation
Women's health issues
Men's health issues