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March 13, 1998     Cape Gazette
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March 13, 1998

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36 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, March 13 - March 19, 1908 HEALTH & FITNESS Diane Black lights a candle in honor of a loved one who battled cancer, during the il- lumination ceremony that kicked off Relay For Life, the signature fundraising event for the American Cancer So- ciety. Below is the poem that Bud Elzey, volunteer for the American Cancer Society, Mid-Atlantic Division, read before volunteers lit their candles. Relay For Life kicks off for 1998 event By Kerry Kester "Everyone has a story. Everyone has a rea- son," said Bud Elzey, American Cancer Soci- ety, Mid-Atlantic Division team recruitment chairman. Elzey was the keynote speaker at the Relay for Life kickoff at Beebe Medical Center's Tunnell Cancer Center on March 9. "Relay is the signature event for the American Cancer Society [ACS]," said Elzey. Last year, there were 1,700 relays [nationwide]." This year's goals, he said, include having 25 teams partic- ipate and raising $50,000. The Cape Region Relay for Life will start at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 5, at Holly Lake Camp- ground and finish at 1 p.m. the next day. The Kent and Sussex counties combined event is slated for Friday, June 19, and Saturday, June 20, at Suusex Vocational-Technical High School in Georgetown. Teams usually have eight to 10 members; one member walks or runs the track for 30 minutes at a time, with the understanding that a team member is always on the track. "You can watch the sun set Friday night and watch the sun rise Saturday morning," said Elzey. "Every relay is alike, because it takes people to make a team," he said. "We get to see a lot of people with a common cause. Whatever Relay is, it's about teams." Relay For Life not only generates funding for the ACS; its aim is to raise community awareness about cancer through remembering those who have lost their lives to the disease and through paying tribute to those who have survived. The event begins with an opening ceremony and also has a luminary ceremony of candle- lights. Donations provide funds for the lumi- nary event that honors those who have been touched by or who have lost their lives to can- cer. The ceremony begins as the sun sets on Friday evening. A special feature of the event is the Survivor's Walk. "That will be a great emotional experience," said Elzey. Participants often perceive the event as be- ing much like an overnight camping trip. They may set up tents, have games or toys to play with during time off of the track, and they may cook or prepare "outdoorsy" meals. Teams may be composed of people who work togeth- er, groups of friends, families, or groups from civic or professional organizations. Individu- als are expected to contribute $10 as a registra- tion fee, with teams expected to raise at least $100 in donations prior to the day's event. Individual fundraising tech- niques may include sending letters to friends, family members, neighbors or colleagues, with a notation that the par- ticipant is dedicating this year's event to specific people who are battling, have Melissa Lear, battled or lost the American Cancer battle to cancer. Society community Some teams show specialist, explains their spirit by adopt- how vohmters can ing team themes, develop teams for Relay For Life. For example, they may dress as the Flintstones with the theme of making cancer extinct. All team members re- ceive T-shirts for participating; ACS awards prizes, during a closing ceremony, to the indi- viduals and the teams who raise the most mon- ey. For more information, call the ACS at 800-937-9696. Bud Elzey leads Relay For Life volunteers in a non- traditional chin-up exercise. Cape Region relay hcDlding kickoff at Nassau Valley Vineyards April 8 The Cape Region Relay For Life will hold its kickoff at Nassau Valley Vineyards on Wednesday, April 8, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The purpose of the event is to raise awareness of Relay For Life in the Lewes, Milton, Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach communities. Members of the com- munity are invited to attend the gath- ering and register for the event sched- uled at Holly Lake Campground on Friday, June 5, and Saturday, June 6. Relay For Life will also be held at Sussex Vocational-Technical High School June 19-20. Those interested in becoming team captains are encouraged to challenge others to create teams, display a goal sign of some type that will show the progress the team is making toward raising funds, publicize the names of team members in prominent locations and hold team fundraising events, such as yard or bake sales, auctions, car washes or other activiries. For more information, contact Susan Daggett at RE/MAX Rentals, 227- 8500, or Peggy Raley, at 645-9463. Choosing a therapist Part II: Investigation When investigating potential therapists, you have the right to know each one's philosophy of counseling and theoretical orien- tation. Credentials are also impor- tant, because they reveal the legal, ethical and continuing education standards a counselor must meet to practice in the community and state. A person with a master's degree in counseling, psychology or so- cial work may have many more years of professional and life ex- perience than a newly graduated Ph.D. or a licensed therapist. For example, if you need help with your marriage or with your kids, you'd probably want your counselor to be experienced in marriage and have brought up a child or two. If you're elderly, you'd proba- bly want a therapist who is at least 40 years old. Thus, you want to consider experience as well as credentials. You would not put your physi- cal health under the care of an in- experienced physician, and you need to take the same care in the selection of your counselor. Generally, if a counselor is na- tionally board-certified, or a na- tionally certified counselor, (N.C.C.), you can be assured that he or she has both experience and is qualified. An N.C.C. must accumulate 100 hours of continuing education over a five-year period. An N.C.C. must also have three years of supervised experience and is li- censed only after passing a 200- question exam. Although a licensed clinical so- cial worker (L.C.S.W.), must also meet stringent educational and ethical standards, examinations are easier and the supervision re- quirement is for two years only. A psychologist with a Ph. D. or a psychiatrist (medical doctor) with a Ph.D. may be excellent therapists, but their fees are higher than those of certified counselors. Be suspect of any practitioner who does not have a policy of confidentiality with clients. This is required by all ethics boards. For everyday problems of liv- ing, there are listings in the Yel- low Pages under "Counselors - Human Relations," "Marriage, Family, Child and Individual Counselors." There are also list- ings under "Social Service Agen- cies" and "Physicians-Psychia- trists." For listings in the Yellow Pages under social service agencies, you need to know that you will be as- signed a therapist and will have no input into the decision about who your counselor will be. Also, be aware that most agency social workers have recently graduated and have little experience with life on life's terms. What is most im- portant is you have the right to discontinue counseling if you don't feel comfortable or safe with a particular clinician. A word about insurance and managed care: before you make an appointment, be sure to check out what is and is not covered for mental health care. If the deductible is high, $500 or more, or if coverage is for se- vere mental illness only, write to your provider and object. Other alternatives are to change your provider at the next open enroll- ment period or pay the out-of- pocket expenses and select a counselor who will work with you on a sliding fee scale that is based on your annual income. For other referral sources, call the Delaware Mental Health As- sociation at 800-287-6423. Final- ly, if you are suffering from a mental-health crisis or are having suicidal thoughts, immediately call Delaware's Mobile Crisis Unit at 800-345-6785. HEALTH TOPICS Carolyn Gover Carolyn Gover, M.A., L.P.C.MM., is a psychothera- pist in private practice with Gover Counseling Psycholo- gy Services in Rehoboth Beach.