More than 60 Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort employees gathered at the Cherokee Fairgrounds to celebrate the community’s cancer survivors, remember lost loved ones, and show their support for the fight against cancer at Cherokee’s fourth annual Relay for Life on Friday, Aug. 23.
In addition to an $8,500 donation from Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, the company’s employees raised $4,000 for the American Cancer Society (ACS) to support patients, caregivers, and survivors in treatment and recovery.
“Relay for Life is something you must experience if you have battled cancer, cared for or loved someone with cancer, or lost someone to cancer,” Julie Wilnoty, Relay for Life event chair and ovarian and endometrial cancer survivor, said. “Back in 2010 when we held the first Relay in Cherokee, we raised $1,800. We’ve grown a lot since then.”
Harrah’s Cherokee employees raised $3,100 for the ACS earlier this summer and an additional $900 at Relay for Life through coffee and doughnut sales. James Bradley, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort advertising/PR supervisor, also donated handmade cup warmers to sell. Each of the 11 teams at Relay was tasked with creating a dream catcher, which was judged during the event. The Harrah’s Cherokee dream catcher created by Front Services Agent Natalie Hawkins won first place and $250 for the company’s Relay team.
“It was awesome to see survivors and their families and talk with so many people about what Relay and the hope for a cure means to them,” Jeannine Rearick, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort income control lead, said. “I have been praying and hoping for a cure since my father passed away at the age of 43 from cancer.”
The ACS has been a Harrah’s Cherokee community partner since 2001. All money raised will fund ACS programs and services in Western North Carolina.
In addition to the monetary donation, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort hosted the ACS Cancer Survivors Dinner in August. The event celebrated area cancer survivors and their caregivers.
– Harrah’s Cherokee