The Duncan Banner

Local News

April 19, 2013

Relay dinner honors survivors

DUNCAN — Cancer survivors and caregivers began arriving for the Survivors Dinner about 4:45 p.m. Thursday, roughly 45 minutes before registration was scheduled to begin. But this was a positive thing to Relay For Life committee members.

This was a sign the ninth annual event could prove to be the largest yet.

Most years, the event has about 100 people. Last year’s event had about 95 survivors and caregivers in attendance.

“I think we may have more than last year,” Cookie McCullough, survivors committee member, said.

McCullough and Pat Bowles head up the Survivors Celebration Dinner every year and have for a while. Both are cancer survivors and have remained active in Relay For Life. The non-profit organization, which is a fundraising effort of the American Cancer Society, works to raise money for cancer research and to help cancer patients.

The two women said the dinner is one of their favorite things leading up to the annual Relay For Life. This year’s Relay is set for 6 p.m. June 7 to 6 a.m. June 8 at Halliburton Stadium. They said the focus of the dinner is the same as the first lap every year at Relay For Life.

“We really enjoy it,” McCullough said about the dinner. “It’s all about the survivors.”

And this year, there were more than 100 cancer survivors and caregivers in attendance. The Simmons Center was set up for 240 people.

McCullough and Bowles said this year had some familiar faces, but there were a lot of new cancer survivors in attendance this year. Among the new survivors was Joann Hodges, who has been battling cancer since September.

“I go once a week (for treatment),” Hodges said. “I’m ready to get through it. They’re wonderful at the Cancer Center.”

Hodges was a bit overwhelmed by the Survivors Dinner, but was glad to see so many people in attendance. She was invited to the event by McCullough, who is her neighbor.

The Relay For Life of Stephens County committee spent time make sure people were invited to the Survivors Dinner. The group mailed out 100 invites, invited people at the Cancer Center and put signs in doctors’ offices.

The Relay committee aimed to get a bigger attendance to honor more people who are fighting or have won their battle against cancer.

The tables were decoracted with purple, the color of survivors. McCullough received help from people at New Hope Baptist Church West to make the decorations come together.

The guest speaker was Doug Baker, who talked about his late wife, Karen, and other family members who have battle cancer. The musical entertainment was Keith Woods, who is a member of the band Summer Breeze.

At the end of the night, Bowles presented an award named after her and for which she was the first recipient. The Pat Bowles Spirit of Relay Award went to Sharon Brooke, who has been active in Relay For Life for at least seven years.

In the award presentation, Brooke was brought to tears. She gave credit to her mother, Sandi Phelps, for inspiring her to get involved in Relay For Life.

“The reason I Relay is because of that woman,” Brooke said.

Text Only
Local News
  • Bench found competent, trial to start Monday

    A jury took 50 minutes on Thursday to find Miles Sterling Bench competent to stand trial for first-degree murder  and District Judge Joe Enos scheduled the trial to begin Monday.
    Bench, 23, of, Velma, is accused of the bludgeoning death of 16-year-old Braylee Henry of Velma. She was killed in June 2012 in the Teepee Totem convenience store in Velma where Bench was employed.

    April 18, 2014

  • 4-18 Miller and Decathlon 0016.jpg Miller pumps up decathlon students

    Dr. Ché Miller, who helped bridge a funding gap needed to send the Duncan High School Decathlon Team to the national competition in Hawaii, gave the team a pep talk on Thursday.
    Miller, recently recognized as the Man of the Year by the Duncan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told the students they are about to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and advised them to absorb as much of the experience as they can.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Churches prepare for Easter Sunday

    Churches throughout Duncan and Stephens County are preparing to celebrate Easter this Sunday, the day Christians celebrate the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven.
    Today is known as Good Friday to mark the day Christ was crucified on a cross.

    April 18, 2014

  • 4-18 lauren-ellis mug.jpg Ellis named new CEO of regional United Way

    Lauren Ellis, who’s led the United Way of Stephens County for more than two years, has been named the new chief executive officer of the United Way of Southwest Oklahoma.
    Her new job will be based in Lawton but Ellis said she will remain in Duncan and commute.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jurors to decide Bench competency issue today

    Jurors will hear final arguments on Thursday and then be asked to determine whether  23-year-old Miles Sterling Bench is mentally competent to stand trial for first-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of 16-year-old Braylee Henry nearly two years ago.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-17 Decathlon Team1 0127.jpg DHS Decathlon Teams prepares

    Not every high school student gets an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii. But that’s exactly what’s happening with the 10 team members of the Duncan High School Decathlon Team.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baseball tourney to be held in Wiles' memory

    The Duncan Middle School baseball team will hold a tournament in memory of the late Alyssa Wiles.

    April 17, 2014

  • Corporon memorial planned for Friday in Marlow

    A candlelight vigil for Dr. William Corporon and his grandson Reat Underwood will be held at Marlow High School at 8 p.m. Friday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Gay recuses himself from Morales trial

    Associate District Judge Dennis Gay on Wednesday disqualified himself from the trial of Dr. Oscar Morales Jr.

    April 17, 2014

  • Psychologists disagree on Bench’s mental competency

    Two psychologists on Tuesday offered differing opinions  about the mental competency of Miles Sterling Bench to stand trial for first-degree murder in the 2012 death of Braylee Henry.
    Bench, dressed in a dark blue suit, sat through a second day of court proceedings that will determine if the case against him goes to trial. The state is seeking the death penalty.

    April 16, 2014


Who do you favor for the U.S. Senate seat that Tom Coburn is giving up?

State Rep. T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton
U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Edmond
State Sen. Connie Johnson, D-Oklahoma City
Former State Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso
     View Results
AP Video