Another on the Calendar
I don’t know why it is, but springtime in the foothills means busy time in the foothills. For example, last Saturday was the CV Chamber of Commerce’s Hometown Country Fair. I sit on the chamber board and was in charge of getting the volunteers to help fill the many jobs that an event of this size has. From guiding the cars and vendors onto the field in the early morning hours to the pie-eating contest and dog parade to escorting everyone off the field at the end of the day, it was busy all day long. How grateful am I that so many were eager to lend a hand – thank you all! (You can read more about the Hometown Country Fair in Leila Bell’s column on page 25.)
But there’s no time to cool my heels. In fact, my heels – and the rest of my shoes – are going to be in pretty much constant motion from 9 a.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday. It’s the annual 24-hour Foothills Relay for Life, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.
I’ve been a part of the relay for the last several years – in weather that was so hot that I literally needed to pour water over my head to cool down to damp weather that caused us to huddle under our pop-up. I think part of the attraction of the event is that not only are you raising money for a worthy cause (after all, whose life hasn’t been touched by cancer?), but that you’re not doing it alone. The packed field at Clark Magnet High School where the relay is held is home for 24 hours to a wide swath of our foothills population, all there to lend support. It is heart-warming to see the faces of those walking the field, sometimes in pairs or singly listening to music on earbuds.
The most somber part of the event is the luminaria ceremony that takes place around 9 p.m. Saturday night. During the day, walkers can buy a luminaria – a lunch bag that is decorated with the name of a person who fought and won, or lost, their battle with cancer. The bags are then anchored with sand and a votive is placed inside. As dusk draws near, the bags are placed along the perimeter of the field and the votives are lit.
At 9 p.m., the ceremony begins, usually with the introduction of a guest speaker who tells of their experience with cancer. Unlit candles are distributed to the crowd and, when the speaker is finished, from the main candle on the stage a candle is lit and carried into the crowd. Each person lights their candle, most from the person next to them, until the field is awash in a soft glow. A lone bagpiper begins to play and walk slowly around the field, the crowd following slowly behind, taking time to read the names on the bags. It is an emotional time as I’m sure you can imagine.
But the relay doesn’t dwell on the remembering as much as the celebrating. After the candles are extinguished, a movie is screened for the crowd not walking. Those walking are rededicated to the task at hand.
Whether donating time by walking the field or providing financial support, every type of help is needed. I hope that you’ll read the cover story to learn how you can support this event. I’ll be there in support of Prom Plus Club – we have a team participating. You can donate at