Cancer Memorial Park decorated in advance of march

The Cancer Memorial Park in Bowling Green has been decorated for the occasion. Courtesy photo

BOWLING GREEN – The board of the Cancer Memorial Park announced the first Celebration of Life event to be held in Bowling Green on the evening of Friday, Sept. 13. The event will include a dinner for cancer survivors hosted by the First Presbyterian Church of Bowling Green and a luminary service in the Cancer Memorial Park.

The dinner will be served between 6 and 7 p.m. and will be free for all registered survivors along with a T-shirt.  The survivors may bring up to two guests. Any cancer survivor desiring to attend should contact Karen Leverenz at 573-324-2477 between 8:30 a.m. and noon weekdays. If she is not available, please leave a message with your name, phone number and address so an invitation can be sent. Pre-registration is required, so don’t hesitate to call. Invitations will be mailed in mid-August. Responses should be returned before Aug. 31, so T-shirts can be made and meals ordered.

Following the dinner, the public is invited to participate in a walk led by the survivors, beginning at approximately 7:15 p.m. The walk will start at First Presbyterian Church, continue around Bowling Green square, and end at the Cancer Memorial Park. The path of the walk will be bordered by luminaries purchased by individuals to honor or memorialize loved ones who have battled or are battling cancer. The luminaries will be lit as the individual names are read during a service at the Cancer Memorial Park. Luminaries are available for a donation of $5 each and may be purchased by submitting a completed form. Forms are available at banks, beauty shops, libraries, pharmacies, and other locations in Bowling Green, Louisiana, Eolia, and Frankford. In order to have luminaries with printed labels of the honorees’ names, forms must be submitted by Sept. 6. Luminaries may also be purchased that night during the dinner at the Presbyterian Church or in the Cancer Memorial Park. Those will be handwritten luminaries. Orders for pavers will also be taken at both locations.

The Cancer Memorial Park on the Bowling Green square was founded to honor those who have been affected by cancer.  It began with a not-for-profit organization called the Cancer Memorial Park Foundation in 2004. The City of Bowling Green purchased an empty lot on the town square on their behalf, and the CMPF formed an agreement with the city to build and maintain the park. CMPF has been awarded 501(C)(3) status by the IRS, so all donations are tax deductible. They are a registered non-profit organization with the secretary of the state of Missouri.

The Cancer Memorial Park normally funds the maintenance of the park through the sale of memorial bricks that line the floor of the park and the benches surrounding the gardens. Bricks may be purchased for a donation of $100 for a 4 x 8, $250 for an 8 x 8, or granite benches for $750. These bricks and benches are available throughout the year. Order blanks are available in the park on the back wall in a mail box, near the front of the park in a brochure holder on the Bouquet Florist window, in the Bibb-Veach Funeral Home and in Community State Bank or by going online to to order and pay with a credit card. All donations are tax deductible. For more information call Karen Daffron at 573-470-1181.

Donations of cash or services for the Celebration of Life event will also be appreciated to help with the expenses. Donations have already been received from Community State Bank, Pepsi Corp., Deters Sign Co. and T-shirt Shop, Karen’s Catering, PJ Printing, Pike County Fair Board, and First Presbyterian Church. Contact Karen Daffron to arrange donations.

All proceeds from the evening will benefit the Cancer Memorial Park. Visit the Cancer Memorial Park Facebook page or contact Daffron at 573-470-1181 or email for more information about the Celebration of Life event or the park.

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