My World #39: Relay For Life

17 Aug

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.


Posted by on August 17, 2009 in My World


26 responses to “My World #39: Relay For Life

  1. Denise

    August 17, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Great photos and a great cause. I enjoyed reading about the history of this race. Thanks for sharing and thanks for stopping by my blog.

  2. Carver

    August 17, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Great post for My World about an important cause.

  3. James

    August 17, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Wonderful post and a great cause!

  4. Ebie

    August 17, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Great walk for a good cause.

  5. Fishing Guy

    August 17, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Ewok: That is a wonderful cause to share with the world.

  6. Martha

    August 17, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    A great post, thank you. It is amazing what people can accomplish by working together.

  7. Postcards from Wildwood

    August 17, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    A great event for a very worthy cause. Thanks for sharing – and it’s great that you took part.

  8. Esther Garvi

    August 17, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    That was beautiful!

  9. Reader Wil

    August 17, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    What an important event! I could have add many bags to the ones sitting there. In the past ten years I have lost my husband and 4 relatives, who died from cancer. Further more I knew four more people here in this small village of ours, who also had cancer. My mother and two sisters had breastcancer.

  10. Gmirage

    August 17, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Keep it up! great cause!

    love the flower below! Yum! 😀

  11. Snap

    August 18, 2009 at 12:08 am

    How wonderful! Great cause and fun photos.

  12. SandyCarlson

    August 18, 2009 at 12:48 am

    A beautiful thing to do. God bless.

  13. Rajesh

    August 18, 2009 at 3:13 am

    Wonderful post. It is nice to people responding to socially relevant events.

  14. magiceye

    August 18, 2009 at 6:19 am

    great cause! well done! power to you!

  15. Arija

    August 18, 2009 at 8:01 am

    A very worthy cause.

  16. 3c

    August 18, 2009 at 10:51 am

    There is something especially moving about the shadows cast by the paper bags.

  17. Mo

    August 18, 2009 at 11:47 am

    well done. A great effort for a great cause

  18. Anne

    August 18, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    What a great post on the history of the event. I have read about such events taking place here in Scotland–overnight fact I think there was an overnight walk which included walking over the Tay Road bridge at midnight. You have such vivid blue skies with you! Today here we have a vivid GREY sky!!!

  19. barrycade

    August 18, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    participating in a worthy cause gives you psychological income no amount of money can equal. way to go!

  20. JennJilks

    August 18, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Great shots!

  21. maryt/theteach

    August 18, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    ewok, a wonderful charity! A friend of mine who has melanoma does this walk every year! 🙂

  22. Indrani

    August 18, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Great work done!
    Lovely captures too.

  23. J

    August 18, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Interesting post! A hospice in our town raises money by having a ‘Night to Remember’ midnight half marathon walk, which I completed last year in memory of my grandfather who died there.

  24. Jack

    August 19, 2009 at 2:49 am

    For some further inspiration and perspective on what Relay for Life is all about, I invite you to check out this video — — about one woman’s “aha moment” when she realized the remarkable impact of Relay and the American Cancer Society and dedicated herself to doing all she could for the cause. I think you’ll enjoy it and hope you’ll also check out the rest of the site, which was created by Mutual of Omaha to highlight inspirational stories and “aha moments” of all kinds.

    Best —

  25. sharodindu

    August 22, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Nice post..very informative by nature..I had no knowledge about this event..
    Thanks for sharing!


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