Relay for Life of Pettis County is seeking nominations for its annual Caregiver of the Year award.
“So often caregivers are behind the scenes, unsung heroes for people battling cancer,” said event chair Sherry Jo Painter-Torres. “We started the award because we wanted to acknowledge those who are selflessly helping others. Whether that’s taking a home-cooked meal to someone, offering a ride to and from a doctor’s appointment or just sitting and talking, it’s so important in the fight against cancer.”
Painter-Torres won the award the first year it was available and said its become a “great tradition” within the Pettis County chapter of Relay for Life.
“The great thing is anyone can be nominated,” she said. “We keep the qualifications pretty broad, just someone who has been a caregiver, because there are so many different types of care. It doesn’t have to be someone who has been there 24 hours a day. It could be a neighbor who helped rake leaves or just had a cup of coffee with them to take their mind off what was going on.”
Those interested in nominating someone should write Painter-Torres a letter stating why that person is deserving of the award.
The deadline for entries is April 1 and all the nominees will be honored during the Relay for Life, slated for June 1.
“The winner will be announced during the Relay’s opening ceremony,” Painter-Torres said. “It’s going to be a great Relay this year. We’ve switched a few things and I hope it’ll be our biggest success yet. I think changing it from a Friday evening to Saturday event may be the biggest switch. We’re hoping more people will come out.”
So far there are 18 Relay for Life teams, just two away from the organization’s goal of 20 teams, she added.
“Our Relay kickoff last month was a huge success,” Painter-Torres said. “The Sedalia School District graciously donated the FEMA building for us to use and we filled it. We got a lot of teams signed up and while we’re still about 160 people away from our participants goal, we’re getting there.”
Team fundraising will start soon, she added, as well as the first team captain’s meeting, set for Feb. 21.
“We always have a great turnout in Pettis County,” she said. “I’m excited that the kickoff has officially started and we can start focusing on the Relay.”
To nominate someone for the Caregiver of the Year award, send a letter explaining how that person has helped a cancer patient and why they deserve the award to firstname.lastname@example.org or Sherry Jo Painter-Torres, 3762 S. Grand Ave., Sedalia, MO 65301. All letters must be received by April 1.