Three staff members from the Ravalli County Federal Credit Union are raising money and will walk in the Relay for Life Cancer Walk in Missoula, Sept. 9, to honor employee Jordan Brown.

Brown was a teller supervisor who worked at the RCFCU for more than a decade. She passed away in January from melanoma cancer that was diagnosed only a few weeks before her death.

Brown was 38 years old and left behind a daughter, Lilian, who she gave birth to in May 2016.

Employee Laci Rose said it is important to do the run and raise funds.

“We are raising money to honor Jordan,” Rose said. “She was a big supporter of Relay for Life and we are carrying on the legacy.”

The Ravalli County Federal Credit Union is combining with other Federal Credit Unions to be the “Hellgate Chapter Relay for Life Team.”

“I think it is sad that we don’t have a Relay for Life locally,” said Darci Parsons, president and chief executive officer of the Ravalli County FCU. “We hope to raise as much money as possible for the American Cancer Society. My husband (Ron Parsons), Laci, and I will all be running and thinking of Jordan at every step of the way.”

Parsons said people can purchase luminaries at the RCFCU for $5 and they will take decorated sacks to the Missoula event that has been moved indoors due to smoke. It will be held from 4 p.m. to midnight at the LDS Church, 3201 Bancroft St., next to Splash Montana, behind the YMCA.

The Luminaria Ceremony occurs at 9 p.m. The powerful hour-long ceremony is conducted in the dark, with glowing luminaria bags representing loved ones lost to cancer, support for those affected by it, and honoring survivors.

All funds raised are donated to the American Cancer Society, a tax-exempt organization.

This is the first year a Ravalli County team has not hosted a Relay for Life event since 1992.

Robin Holcomb, past coordinator for the Relay for Life in Ravalli County and now a helper for the Missoula event, said the American Cancer Society has had changes.

“There are now different regulations with the ACS and they merged Ravalli County, Missoula County and the University of Montana together,” Holcomb said. “I’m still a volunteer and still on the committee.”

She's sad there's no longer a Relay for Life event in the Bitterroot Valley.

“I have to remember why I’m doing it,” she said. “This March I lost my dad to his cancer. It doesn’t matter where it is I will continue doing it.”

Holcomb said the Relay for Life team is still having a Ravalli County Survivor Dinner at Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital on Sept. 8.

“We are hosting it locally, in case survivors can’t make it to Missoula,” Holcomb said.

For details about the survivor dinner contact Tami Riley at 406-363-2211.

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