ALTON - The 2023 Relay For Life Survivor Dinner saw 62 cancer survivors attend on Tuesday night at the Vera Lee Meeting and Event Venue in Alton. Event Lead Volunteer Sherri Carroll said the turnout at this year’s event was double the attendance from last year.

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“Last year, we had about 30 survivors at our dinner, and this year we’ve doubled it,” Carroll said. Jackie Ridgley speaks at the 2023 Relay For Life Survivor Dinner

Each survivor wore a purple ribbon and was able to bring one guest with them to the dinner. One of those survivors, Jackie Ridgley, was also the guest speaker for the

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“She spoke about her breast cancer treatments, and her thing was ‘Goodbye Felicia’ when her cancer was gone,” Carroll said of Ridgley’s speech.

Carroll said the overall goal of the event was “to celebrate the win of each cancer survivor.”

“I just said, ‘Congratulations to all of you. Each new day is a day of surviving.’ Everybody was in good spirits last night,” Carroll said. “We had one current survivor, the rest of them had years of being a cancer survivor. So we had one current patient, and that’s always great to see just that treatments are working for them.”

She added that Kirstan Gray, co-owner of Vera Lee Meeting and Event Venue, donated the venue and also took care of the caterer for the event.

Later this month, Carroll said cancer survivors will take the honorary first lap of the Relay For Life relay event at the East Alton-Wood River High School track on April 15 from 3 to 10 p.m.

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Relay for Life Opening Ceremony