Friday, June 19, 2009

Relay Day!

Tonight is our area's Relay for Life. This is an event to benefit the American Cancer Society. Team members, of course, raise money for the American Cancer Society and its various worthwhile programs. The reward is the almost 24 hour event. It's a combination celebration of life and party. Last year the theme was Mardi Gras, so you get the flavor. This year the theme will be "luau".

We know now to bring money because a lot of the teams run Chinese Auctions (hope that one isn't politically incorrect, but that is what they call them here) or other fundraisers so you walk the track, see what you would like to try to win, buy tickets...and of course I have never won. The local Frito Lay team has giveaways of snacks. Most teams have someone who cooks supper. Our cook lost both parents to cancer.

Cancer survivors can attend a Survivor's/Caregivers dinner Friday night and a Survivor's/Caregivers breakfast Saturday. Everyone walks. And, the goal is for each team to have at least one team member on the track at all times. Our team won't but the larger teams full of people in their teens and 20's will. For those who stay overnight, there is music, karaoke, contests, etc. to keep everyone awake.

One event I have never stayed for is the luminary lighting. This is an extremely emotional event. People purchase luminaries in honor or in memory of loved ones, and decorate them. Team members then put them on the track in front of their tents. After sunset, they are lit and everyone walks the track to observe, to honor, and remember. This year there will be a bagpiper too. Quite honestly I have never stayed because it would have been a little too emotional for me but this year I am ready. I think.

The midnight sun it is not but may those luminaries express everyone's prayer that cancer be conquered in our lifetimes.

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