The Ellis County Relay for Life is constant in the life of Nita Condor of Waxahachie.
“I have been in Relay around 12 years,” Condor said. “I became involved because of my brother who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.”
She has done a little bit of everything for Relay during that time, including committee chair for entertainment, games, donations, silent auction and sponsorship.
“The very first Relay in Ellis County was held in Ennis in 1997. There were 12 teams. Nita’s day care workers were one of the teams,” said Patty Chagnon, Ellis County Relay for Life event co-chair.
“Ever since that event, Condor Childcare has had a team and/or been a major sponsor of Relay,” Chagnon said. “Nita has worked on the executive committee every year leading the donations committee, running the silent auction, organizing bingo and coordinating children’s games. She has stepped in and assisted in other areas as needed.
“As a survivor, she has always jumped in and helped with survivor activities and recruitment. She has donated supplies, the use of office equipment, the use of the daycare for meetings and countless hours of service,” Chagnon said. “So many volunteers stepped down when they realized how much work it took to make an event like this happen. We could always count on Nita to hang with us.”
Condor said she has seen good and frightening times during Relay.
“It was very exciting when we had Chad Henning visit and he walked the survivors walk with us and autographed our shirts. He is a very nice person,” Condor said. “We had a storm another year and had to cancel and reschedule. But, in spite of the weather we still made a lot of money for Relay and had a really nice Relay.
“One year the chair person for luminaries spent all day in the football stands spelling out a saying like ‘Cure for Cancer’ and it was beautiful but one of the sacks caught on fire and they had to put it (luminary sack) out before it went too far,” she said.
Condor, a 19-year cancer survivor, said she relishes the success of the Ellis County Relay.
“I am glad to see how successful Relay has become. I can see the reason why is because of the hard work everyone does and how generous Ellis County people are to give and support Relay. We have added so many sponsors over the years and some of the sponsors have been with Relay as long as I have,” she said.
When not involved in Relay, Condor can be found at Condor’s Childcare in Waxahachie.
“My mother-in-law started this business about 50 years ago and we bought the day care from her around 30 years ago,” she said. “Our love for children is what has kept us in the business.”
Although her brother, the late Charles Bell, did not win this battle with cancer, Condor has not given up the fight.
“He was diagnosed with cancer and lived for around three years. Those three years he worked in Relay but the last year he told me that he didn’t think he was going to make it. While we were walking the survivor’s walk, he told me he was walking the survivor’s walk to let people know that he supported Relay. He didn’t want his children to ever hear the word cancer,” she said. “He lived a month after Relay that year.
“I’ve been with Relay and have seen its ups and downs and I have found there is a common bond between the people in Relay,” she said. “We are either fighting cancer, a survivor or know a friend or relative who is fighting the battle. We are all fighting for the same cause, to beat cancer.”
This year’s Ellis County Relay for life will be held Friday-Saturday, June 8-9, at the Maypearl High School football field.
The next team captain’s meeting will be held Thursday, May 10, at the Red Oak Municipal Building, 200 Lakeview Parkway, Red Oak. Money can be turned in at 6:30 p.m. An information meeting will follow at 7. Contact co-chairman Mary Ruth Mitchell at (972) 938-8559 for more information on becoming a sponsor or forming a team.
making a donation or volunteering for Relay.