This past weekend (August 15-16), the American Cancer Society held its yearly Relay for Life fundraising. It’s my first relay too. I work in a hospital and each year, we send a team to do the relays. I never signed up. Our church also fields in a team, and this time around, we signed up for our church.
Relay for Life is a fundraising event of the ACS and is an overnight event designed to spread awareness of cancer prevation, treatment, and cures and to celebrate survivors and is designed to raise money for cancer research.
(Track is lined with paper bags in memory of a dearly departed or in honor of a survior or someone who’s battling the disease. It has a candle inside that’s lit during the night walk)
We signed up for the 5:30 to 6:30 slot. Both my husband and I completed 11 laps each, not bad for a first time participant. Next year I would allot more time to walking.
Info from Wikipedia:
Birth of the Relay:
In May 1985, Dr. Gordon Klatt, a colorectal surgeon from Tacoma, Washington, thought of the concept for the Relay For Life. He wanted to raise money for the American Cancer Society so he decided to walk around the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington for 24 hours. Throughout the night, friends paid $25 to run or walk 30 minutes with him. He raised $27,000 to fight cancer. That first year, nearly 300 of Dr. Klatt’s friends, family, and patients watched as he ran and walked the course. Relay has developed into an overnight event where people bring tents and sleep out around the tracks. People of all ages come out to bring the community together and reminisce about their loved ones who have died of cancer and honor those who have survived while raising money to fight for a cure.
Although all Relays vary, there are a few common features:
- Most tend to go overnight
- There is a survivors lap.
- Opening Lap, in which all the teams take a lap around the track carrying banners and things to pass out. The team with the most creative opening lap gets a trophy.
- A ceremony emphasizing “hope” and celebrating “cure”; this is variously called Luminaria, the Candle of Hope, or other names
- A closing ceremony, including one last lap around the track in which everyone takes part.
- A “Fight Back” ceremony is held in which participants pledge to fight back against cancer in a number of ways including, but not limited to, encouraging friends and family to get regular screenings, quitting smoking, or becoming a member of American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN).
A widely used slogan for Relay for Life is: “Cancer doesn’t sleep, and neither will we.”
In 2007, the closing ceremonies in many events became the “Fight Back Ceremony”, a ceremony featuring pledges by people to “fight back” against the horrible disease, this in part to a new slogan introduced in the same year reinforcing the key values of the event, “Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back.”
Relay For Life is also an international event licensed to international cancer organizations that share a similar mission with the American Cancer Society. Relay For Life events are held in 19 countries outside of the United States. The American Cancer Society’s International Relay For Life Program provides training and technical assistance to licensees to ensure that the Relay events happening in these countries (like New Zealand) are successful in promoting cancer education and survivorship while raising much needed funds for international cancer organizations all over the world.
That is my world for this week. Many more participants show off their worlds each week. MY WORLD is the place where you can see and learn more of other people’s world.