On Friday the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Lincoln Parish hosted the Lincoln Parish Purple Bowl. The game, Grambling High versus Cedar Creek, was held in Eddie G. Robinson Stadium.
During the weeks leading up to the game, Grambling high students, faculty and staff sold and purchased T-shirts that were worn to the game to help raise awareness about cancer.
The coin toss was done by Callie Grubb, Lincoln Paris Relay for Life Event Lead, and Glenda Howard and Arthur Simpson, cancer survivors, served as honorary captains. During halftime balloons were released, and at the end of the game there was a brief luminaria ceremony honoring those who are in the fight against cancer and remembering those who have passed on.
The purpose of this community event was to celebrate cancer survivors, honor those who continue to fight cancer, remember those who have lost their battles against cancer and raise money for the American Cancer Society.
R. J. Johnson, American Cancer Society Community Manager for North Louisiana, coordinated this event. He said he partnered with Grambling High to help increase awareness through Lincoln Parish and to raise awareness in the Lincoln Parish community.
“Football is big in Louisiana, so I thought it was a good opportunity to raise awareness using a popular sport.
“Grambling did a great job. There was a lot of community participation. I would like to increase the attendance at the game and raise more funds. I hope this event will continue to grow,” he said.
According to Johnson, Louisiana has one of the highest cancer mortality rates in the nation, with annual statistics having a numeric equivalent of about 160 people dying from cancer in the state every week.
“We all know someone affected by cancer, and this is our opportunity to raise awareness and support the mission to save lives and have more birthdays,” he said.
Dr. Pamela Payne, principal of Grambling High said, “We wanted to support the efforts to raise money and give our students an opportunity to participate in an event for a great cause. Our students and staff were receptive to it. They purchased T-shirts and wore them to the game.”
Payne said she would like for this activity to be held annually.
The purpose of this community event was to celebrate cancer survivors, honor those who continue to fight cancer, remember those who have lost the fight against cancer and raise money for the American Cancer Society.