Mark Eckstein was a husband, father, church member and city worker.As organizers and residents are gearing up for the annual Ripley County Relay For Life this weekend, a local family is remembering a loved one who battled cancer.It has been a difficult year for family and friends of Mark Eckstein. He passed away in May after an 11-month fight with cancer at the age of 43.The 1988 graduate of Batesville High School was well known in the community and worked for the city’s water and gas department for 26 years.Life took an unexpected turn in 2013 when Mark was diagnosed with Stage 4 adenocarcinoma cancer.His sister, Joan McKamey recalls her brother, “I don’t know anybody that didn’t like Mark. He was a tough guy, but there was something very gentle about him and very caring. A big guy with a big heart.”McKamey said the family knew something may have been wrong with Mark before he was diagnosed last year.“We were all on pins and needles until he got his definite diagnosis at the end of the month, it was a big blow to us, a definite big blow to us,” McKamey said. “It was the first time we had dealt with something like that in our immediate family.”Finding out a loved one has cancer is a moment many of us have experienced. According to the American Cancer Society, this year alone there will be an estimated 1,665,540 new cases diagnosed. The disease remains the second most common cause of death in the US, accounting for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths.“It was devastating news and was a very very difficult journey to travel with Mark, his wife and kids,” McKamey remembered. “It brought our family closer. We appreciate our folks and the efforts they made and the decent people we turned out to be.”“But Mark, he was one of the best of the best.”It is understandable how a person can question their faith when the news is received that you, or someone you love, has cancer. McAmey noted that she never once heard Mark or his wife question, “Why me?”Mark, like many individuals who are battling cancer, or have fought the disease, found the resiliency and inner strength to lean on faith, family and acceptance as he progressed through the cancer diagnosis and treatment.“Your body is just under siege from the cancer but also especially from the treatment, that was wearying,” McKamey said. “Yet he put up the fight. I think he had a lot to live for and a lot to fight for.”“I think that is part of his legacy, for his kids especially. They were worth the fight and he was not going to go down without a fight.”He married Julie Simon in 1995 and they have two children, Carmen, 16, and Jared, 14.A luminaria service will be held at the Relay For Life at Batesville High School on Saturday night.Free time for Mark was spent with his family. The member of St. Maurice Catholic Church also enjoyed golfing, squirrel hunting, riding motorcycles and the simple pleasure of the outdoors.“I think Mark would tell us to live each day to the fullest and make the most of it. To see the blessing and the gift of each day, each person, and each opportunity, and to not let them pass by because life can be taken from us so quickly.”Mark’s story, and the story of other local cancer victims and survivors will be shared this weekend at Batesville High School. The 19th annual Ripley County Relay For Life is from 8:00 a.m. Saturday to 8:00 a.m. Sunday.Batesville United Methodist Church, in partnership with Margaret Mary Health, is offering monthly cancer support group meetings. Anyone is invited. The first meeting will be held at the church at 5:30 p.m. on Thurs., June 26.
TWO exciting matches will kick off today to decide the finalists of the GFF/KFC National U-20 ‘Independence Cup’ when Dynamic FC clash with Botofago FC at 13:00hrs. However, fans will be abuzz and are expecting a thriller when Fruta Conquerors FC face Georgetown rivals Santos FC at 15:30hrs. Both matches will be played at the GFF National Training Centre, Providence.The semifinalists were decided following last weekend’s quarterfinals with the respective teams triumphing over their opponents from respective Regional Member Association including Strikers FC from the Rupununi Football Association.Each team will be looking for glory as they had comfortable victories in their quarterfinals matches; Fruta Conquerors prevailed 5-3 in extra time over Buxton United and Santos FC eased to a 3-1 win over Strikers FC.Meanwhile, it was all one way traffic for East Coast outfit Dynamic, who beat New Amsterdam United 3-0 with Botofago eventually edging out Timehri Panthers 3-2.The winning team will capture $500 000, a trophy and medals while the runners-up will pocket $300 000, a trophy and medals.Third-place winners will walk away with $200 000, a trophy and medals and while fourth place will get a trophy and medals.The third-place and finals are set for Monday (July 1) at the GFF National Training Centre, Providence.
The second iteration of the Esports BAR is heading to the United States following the success of the first in Cannes, France last February. Reed MIDEM, the Paris-based organiser of international B2B markets in entertainment that include MIPTV and MIPCOM for the television and digital content industries and Midem for the music sector, has announced the second edition of Esports BAR in Miami from 18-20 September.Reed MIDEM has suggested that the aim of Esports BAR is to allow companies operating in the esports ecosystem to negotiate related rights, foster business relationships, and create new contacts.Esports BAR in Miami will bring together over 100 pre-selected leading executives from esports teams, leagues and tournaments, game publishers, brands, advertising agencies and related television and online platforms. “This selection process is what makes Esports BAR unique. The idea is to bring together the 100 people who will benefit most from meeting each other. It’s a system of business relationship brokering,” commented Jérôme Delhaye, Director of Reed MIDEM’s Entertainment Division.Designed as a global event bringing together executives from more than 20 countries active in the worldwide esports industry, the upcoming edition of Esports BAR is expected to attract a particularly strong participation from the United States, Latin America and Canada.The event will be comprised of a 1-to-1 summit offering leading executives a full diary of guaranteed pre-scheduled meetings. Business insight sessions will provide delegates with the opportunity to develop their understanding of the esports market and will showcase best practices related to the esports sector. Miami will also see numerous networking events designed to develop relationships within the expanding esports community.“The second edition of Esports BAR is a direct result of the phenomenal reaction we got from delegates when we launched the concept in Cannes in February,” said Reed MIDEM’s Jérôme Delhaye. “We had a 96% satisfaction rating and clear demand for a second event in 2017. What set the inaugural Esports BAR apart from other esports events was the high quality of professionals gathered in one place, dedicated to growing esports into the entertainment of the future. Reed MIDEM aims to accompany the strategic development of this rapidly-evolving industry, just as it has built essential platforms for the growth of the TV and music industries over the past decades.”Among senior delegates who voiced their support for the Esports BAR format was Alban Dechelotte, Senior Entertainment Marketing Manager for The Coca-Cola Company. Speaking at the end of Esports BAR in Cannes, he commented, “This format is exactly what I was dreaming of – meeting the whole esports industry at the same time and in a great place. This is the most efficient event I’ve attended so far.”To provide the most productive esports matchmaking experience possible, Reed MIDEM is supported by an advisory team of esports professionals, which includes Stuart Saw, Twitch’s Director of Esports Strategy, Matthieu Dallon, Esport Strategy Director, Webedia and President, France eSports, Sidney Kim, CEO of Rox Tigers and ROX Orcas OverWatch Team, Ralf Reichert, CEO of ESL, Mike Sepso, Senior VP Activision Blizzard, Wouter Sleijffers, CEO of Fnatic, and Arnd Benninghoff, EVP, MTG and CEO of MTGx Ventures. In its first edition, held in Cannes from 15-17 February, Esports BAR was sold out with a final number of 115 pre-selected leading executives from 69 companies and 18 countries. Among the major companies attending, Esports BAR in Cannes welcomed digital platforms Twitch, Facebook and YouTube, media giants Orange, Vivendi, Univision and Discovery, game publishers EA, Activision Blizzard, Bandai and Rovio, esports key players such as ESL, ESWC and Webedia, teams SK Gaming, Vitality, Fnatic, and major brands and agencies including Lagardère Sports, IBM, Sennheiser and The Coca Cola Company. The company has also revealed that it shall be expanding its Cannes offering for 2018. Disclaimer: ESI was media partnered for Esports BAR Cannes 2017.