2017 Relay For Life

Ryan Horwitz

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The annual Relay for Life was held on Saturday, June 3rd and went from 10 am to around midnight. It was a day full of cool events, plenty of food, entertaining attractions, and wonderful people.

The relay commenced at 10 am on Saturday, with an opening ceremony that honored and empowered those who have been or are still currently affected by cancer, no matter what the type. A survivors lap followed the ceremony, consisting of the strong warriors who are battling or have beaten cancer. The Caregiver’s lap was also directly after the opening ceremony, displaying unconditional appreciation for those who have been by the sides of the cancer warriors through the whole battle. The truly awe-inspiring opening was a moment that those who partook and witnessed will not forget.

During the day, there were a plethora of events and attractions. Amongst these were food trucks, sales tents, a mechanical bull ride, zumba dancing, a chili cooking contest, inflatable bounce houses, and Bark for Life, where people could bring their furry friends to walk around a mini track and interact with other dogs and people. With this many things going on, it was not hard to stay occupied and all of these attractions benefitted the overall cause of raising money for cancer research.

Andrew Nathan, a member of Haley’s Hope tent, said, “My favorite part about this year’s relay was that, although it had a less amount of people, they made it seem a lot larger. Also the chili contest was a good way to bring people to the relay. The biggest attraction I think was the bark for life. And as for our team, we did less than in the past and I think overall too. However a lot of money was still raised, which is the whole point.” Andrew has been attending Relay For Life  since the beginning and holds the cause very close, stating, “ I relay to raise money and find a cure for cancer. “ Part of the reason he values this cause so much is because he lost his sister to cancer. Losing someone this close can make or break someone, and Andrew’s resiliency to use this cause to help find a cure for cancer for other people is a kind and selfless act.

There were so many kind people at the relay who were contributing to the day. One of those people was Jordan Harvey, who volunteered for a few hours that day. She commented, “I loved volunteering and being able to talk and hear some of the stories from survivors that were there. Being able to help the kids in the inflatables was super fun. It just shows how the relay is for the whole family.” Jordan continued, ”My favorite moment was hearing from a one woman who, after beating cancer, went skydiving to celebrate. It was so nice how she was so confident and brave after her tough journey. Everyone was so helpful and nice and it also made me feel like I was making a difference and supporting others. I also really liked that I was able to see some of the amazing products and services that are in my local community.” Jordan, in addition to volunteering, purchased a few items including a shirt and a bracelet. It was small sales like these that not only formed connections, but raised money for a great cause.

Later at night there was the deeply rooted Luminaria ceremony. This was a very emotionally moving ceremony, as it paid tribute to those who have lost their life to cancer and showed support to the families who were united at this time. This was one of the most meaningful ceremonies to take place on Saturday, and even though the lights in the bags eventually burned out, the light of our loved ones will never perish.

Looking back, it is safe to say that the 2017 Relay For LIfe was a success. Even though it may have been smaller than relays in years past, everyone who came made this year’s relay just as good. The Relay For Life is an important part of many peoples lives, and they will attend the Relay For Life for as long as possible because the cause will never lose meaning. It is a humbling experience and everyone should get to experience this type of camaraderie in a community at least once in life.

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