More Relay Info, Please
So you know how you know something and you just figure everybody else knows what it is that you know? Such is the case with the Foothills Relay for Life.
After reading last week’s column, people commented that, while it was very engaging and they were interested in participating in Relay for Life, they really didn’t know much about it. Well, I’m here this week to clear that up.
Foothills Relay for Life was started several years ago as a community effort to raise money and support the efforts of the American Cancer Society. It’s a 24-hour event that begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning and continues until 9 a.m. Sunday. For the first few years Relay was held on the track at Crescenta Valley High School but when the new field was installed the event was moved to Clark Magnet High School. I first became aware of Relay for Life when I was with another newspaper and as a reporter I was assigned a cover it. Team members from across the foothills sign-up to spend 24 hours making sure that a member of their team is always walking the track. Why 24 hours? Because cancer never sleeps.
These team members generally have each raised at least $100 for the privilege of spending the entire 24 hours at Clark Magnet. They arrive either Friday night or early Saturday morning bringing with them a tent, sleeping bag, and pillow so they can spend the night. Each team also brings a pop-up tent that they decorate. Each team is a warrior against a particular cancer and their decorations usually reflect their fight. For example, I’m a member of the Prom Plus Club team and we fight breast cancer. We decorate our booth for the 24 hours that we’re there with all types of bras. Twice during the 24-hour period, our team members strap on a bra over their clothes (even the boys) and walk the track to remind everybody about the fight against breast cancer. Many teams are selling items at their pop-ups, so you might want to bring some money, too!
But it’s not just walking during those 24 hours. There’s live music, exercise class and some wonderful fare that’s been donated by local restaurants. For example, 4:00 is the “Walk with the Dog” where hot dogs provided by Weinerschnitzel are available. Burgers are flipped for lunch by members of the VFW and American Legion. Delicious donuts and pastries are ready first thing Sunday morning. At 9 p.m. there is the moving luminaria ceremony where the track is lined with white lunch bags decorated with the name of someone who is fighting cancer or has fought cancer and won – or lost – their fight. Following luminaria, people return to the track or watch a movie played on a big screen.
For those who don’t or can’t make the 24-hour commitment, they’re still welcome to come to the Clark track and walk a lap or two. It doesn’t cost anything and you might be surprised to see who else is there.
This is a big event that takes a lot of man-hours to pull together – most all of it from the help to the food is volunteered and donated. I hope that you come out and see what it’s all about.