By Isiah REYES
The annual Relay for Life of the Foothills fundraiser was held at Clark Magnet High School on April 11-12 for cancer survivors, friends and families and all types of supporters as they walked the track for 24 straight hours to raise funds and awareness for cancer research.
“Many people have had cancer or know someone who has cancer and so it is nice to see the survivors,” said Sharon Martin, former town council member and cancer survivor.
The funds raised will go to the American Cancer Society for research programs and patient programs. To complete the 24-hour walk, team members took turns walking the track from 9 a.m. Saturday morning to 9 a.m. Sunday morning, camping out overnight to accomplish the feat.
“This event is important for awareness for folks to keep track of their body,” said Ed Waldheim, president of J’s Maintenance and J’s Maid Service. “There’s no reason for you to die of cancer if you are aware of what’s happening to your body. So many people are alive today because of what [the] American Cancer Society and other groups do.”
Many booths on-site were raffling off prizes, such as Walgreens, which had summer fun baskets and free giveaways. Other booths from the local community had free healthy snacks for all to enjoy. Overall, there were many fun things to do.
“It’s a great event, it brings the whole community together and brings awareness to the disease, but most importantly it raises money to contribute to the cause of finding a cure and it’s fun too,” said Crescenta Valley High School student Kyle D’Ambrosio.
When the sun began to set, Relay For Life participants and donors remembered loved ones lost to cancer and honored those battling the disease by dedicating luminaria bags. Each luminaria is personalized with a name, photo, message or drawing in memory or honor of a friend or loved one who has been affected by cancer. Each luminaria candle represents a person.
“We feel so privileged to be here,” said Girl Scout leader of Troop 15851 Sara Rush, who had her troop decorating each luminaria bag. “This is our first year doing the luminarias and it’s for a very important cause and the girls in the troop are very passionate about it, too.”
The event offered a lot of socializing, fun and awareness as it has in previous years. With the support of the community, the Relay for Life will continue to be an annual event.
The American Cancer Society has helped save lives for more than 65 years by its research into lifestyle changes and new approaches in therapies and support to improve cancer patients’ quality of life, according the ACS website. Funds for the Foothills Relay for Life continue to be collected. To make a donation, visit http://relay.acsevents.org/.