Cancer survivors and train lovers have something in common – it’s all about the “journey” and this is the first time that “journey” will come together at the Big South Fork Scenic Railway.
Local cancer survivor, Crystal Michelle Perry, came up with the idea after being diagnosed with cancer in May, 2013. She said, “I was devastated and didn’t know what I was going to do, financially. I, of course, had insurance but, as we all know, insurance won’t cover everything. One of the biggest obstacles to overcome was the commute to Lexington and back five days a week for six weeks.“
Perry continued, “My mom had done some research and found out about the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge in Lexington. I went to my doctor and he arranged for me to stay at the Hope Lodge for the six weeks while I was receiving my treatments. The American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge was free of charge and I was able to stay for six weeks at no cost. There was such a great outpouring of support from my family, friends, doctors and even complete strangers that I’ve been blessed to meet during this journey. I know I could never repay the kindness and love I received. I wanted to pay it forward so this is why I decided to do the Rails For Life event.”
She noted, “Me and several co-workers at the Big South Fork Scenic Railway came up with the idea and got the support of Becki Egnew and it has turned into this big event that the whole community is supporting.”
“Rails For Life”, the first of its kind in this area, will be held Saturday, September 27th at the Big South Fork Scenic Railway and promises to be a full day of fun. Starting at 3:00 pm, there will be various vendor booths set up, a dunking booth, games, silent auction and live music. The Whitley City Fire Department will be on site with their fire trucks for the kids to see and the ever popular “Jail N Bail” will take place. Currently, the “Most Wanted” with a bail of $100:
Sheriff Gus Skinner, Chief Property Assessment Clerk Randy Waters, Property Valuation Administrator Bruce Lominac, Superintendent Donnie Wright, County Attorney Conley Dale Chaney, Judge Executive Doug Stephens, County Clerk Eric Haynes, District & Court Clerk Othel King, George “Buddy” Wilson, with Crabtree Wilson Insurance Agency, and Jimmy Watters, candidate.
There will be an opportunity for the public to sign a quilt block in honor of or in memory of a loved one touched by cancer. The quilt blocks will be quilted and hung in the McCreary County Museum.
At 5:00 pm there will be the official Welcome and a balloon release ceremony. The special “Rails For Life” train will be decorated with purple ribbons and will depart at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $18 for adults and $8.00 for children ages 3-12. A percentage of sales will go to the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of McCreary County. The first 75 tickets sold will include admission to the McCreary County Museum’s “Night at the Museum” event with a special showing time of 6:00 pm.
For more information about this special “Rails For Life” event that benefits Relay For Life of McCreary County contact the Big South Fork Scenic Railway at 1-800-GO-ALONG or Crystal Michelle Perry at 606-516-6154.