Why relay?Published 11:07pm Tuesday, May 6, 2014
The 2014 Relay for Life was a huge success this year. The committee surpassed several goals, including the number of teams that registered as well as the number of survivors who participated. There were also a number of new teams that participated this year.
Chairperson Dawn Johnston, co-chair Carol West and the rest of the 12 Relay for Life committee members spent many hours of their own time to make all of it possible. The teams also had a big part in the event’s success. It was a great display of community involvement by all parties involved.
The luminary ceremony was amazing. At 9 p.m., all of the lights at Wagner Field went off, and you could see lanterns in the stands spelling out words like ‘love’ and ‘hope’ and in the form of the cancer awareness ribbon. There was a video shown that displayed pictures of cancer patients and survivors. It was very touching.
On Saturday morning, the remaining participants met for the survivor breakfast and the closing ceremonies. Everyone had been up all night long for the most part and it was amazing to see that all of these people still had smiles on their faces and the energy to carry on joking with one another and talking and cheering for Relay. Every five minutes someone, mostly West and Johnston, would yell out 1-2-3, Relay! The dedication of all of these people was inspirational.
At the end of closing ceremonies, the committee called the team leaders together for a “group huddle”. Well, they fell for it and the committee pulls out cans of silly string and starts spraying the leaders and survivors and anyone in the vicinity. It was a lot of fun and it was for a good cause.
After talking to some survivors and hearing their testimonies one thing became clear — these people are serious about cancer research and they are serious about honoring those who have had cancer or survived cancer. Another thing became clear — these people have the best attitudes and outlooks on life. They live for today. They don’t take one second for granted. They relay not only because it is a good cause — they relay because, for them, it is a lifeline and a brother-/sisterhood.