Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Opinion

February 23, 2013

Bark for Life is back

March 1 will mark one year since our precious Sharon’s passing. For those who may be new in town, or have lived under a rock, Sharon Barlow Nabors was our valiant warrior, who bravely fought cancer for years.

I don’t say she “lost” her battle with cancer, because throughout her fight, no matter how many setbacks she suffered, she was always out there helping with a benefit for somebody else.

She taught us about grace. About dignity. She modeled courage like few I’ve ever known.

And even when she hurt, she always had a smile for you, never failed to ask how you were. She showed the love of Jesus to everyone she met.

There will be a gathering the evening of March 1 to remember Sharon, and to acknowledge the gifts she gave us while here on this earth. Thank you, Misty Chandler, for organizing this tribute.

The next day, March 2, will be an event at Bunert Park to benefit American Cancer Society Relay for Life. Last year, Kay Ovalle and her crew put on a fun event, which raised $5,000 for cancer research. This year, their goal is to surpass that and raise $10,000.

Who among us has not been touched by cancer? It sure seems to me that those I know and many I love are receiving these diagnoses more and more frequently. I pray every year this will be the year they find a cure for cancer. Sharon and I both prayed it would happen in time for her.

In addition to praying for a cure, and praying for those battling cancer, you can help by joining a Relay for Life team. If you don’t think you have time to devote to a team, come out to Bunert next Saturday and bring your pets.

Registration is at 9 a.m. and the event will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

At 10 a.m. there will be a kickoff ceremony to honor the Canine Caregiver of the Year, Lynn Gatlin of Project Pawz and Spirit. If you don’t know Spirit’s story, it is a very touching one. Lynn saved this poor dog from many horrors, nursed her back to health only to find she has cancer, and now has been diagnosed with glaucoma. Lynn and Tony Gatlin, and Dr. Scott Barham and his staff have all gone the “extra mile” to save Spirit.

Also that day will be a car show, spearheaded by Mark Lee, whose own family was touched just in the past months by cancer. Andy Williams will hold a CASI Chili Cookoff, along with his helpers that day. Chili Appreciation Society International has sanctioned this event so competitors can earn points toward the big-daddy cookoff, Terlingua.

There will be low cost vaccinations for dogs, cats, and horses by Dr. Robert Garcia, DVM from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Beauregard, the new Navarro College mascot, will be on hand for autographs ... okay, for photos.

There will be a silent auction with plenty of neat items, including a four-pack of Dallas Mavericks tickets with parking pass for March 30, a Mildred autographed football, a guided fishing trip and more. But don’t come too late, the auction will close at 1 p.m. to allow for pickup of items.

There will be awards for smallest dog, biggest dog, cutest outfit, dog who traveled the farthest, and an owner/dog lookalike contest.

“It is kind of a mini-Relay for Life, but with pets,” Ovalle said.

Bring the family, come out, have a great time, and know the money you spend that day will go toward helping someone whose life has been affected by cancer.

“Rain or shine, we will be there,” Ovalle said. “We don’t stop, because cancer doesn’t.”

   —————

Deanna Kirk is a Daily Sun Staff Writer and Editor of Explore Magazine. She may be reached by email at dkirk@corsicanadailysun.com

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