Our tree was decorated by members of the Willow Glen 2011 Relay For Life committee. We have talked about participating in past years but our committee usually starts meeting too late in the year to get organized to participate. This year we were determined to be a part of Christmas in the Park.
The garland notates various services that the American Cancer Society provides, Look Good, Feel Better; Road to Recovery; Man to Man; just to name a few.
We are always looking for volunteers, survivors, new teams and committee members as well as donations to the event.
The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. At Relay, teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Because cancer never sleeps, Relays are overnight events up to 24 hours in length.
Relay starts with a Survivors Lap - a inspirational time when survivors are invited to circle the track together and help everyone celebrate the victories we've achieved over cancer. The Survivors Lap is an emotional example of how Relay participants are ensuring that more lives are saved each year - like those of each individual on the track. We also recognize and celebrate caregivers at Relay For Life. These individuals give their time, love, and support to friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers who face cancer. At Relay, people understand the frustrations and joys of being a caregiver, since the effects of cancer reach far beyond just the person diagnosed.
After dark, we honor people who have been touched by cancer and remember loved ones lost to the disease during the Luminaria Ceremony. Candles are lit inside bags filled with sand, each one bearing the name of a person touched by cancer, and participants often walk a lap in silence. As people take time to remember, those who have walked alongside others battling cancer can grieve and find healing. This is a time that truly highlights the importance of defeating this disease.
Last, there is a Fight Back Ceremony, where we make a personal commitment to save lives by taking up the fight against cancer. That personal commitment may be to do something as simple as getting a screening test, quitting smoking, or talking to elected officials about cancer. By taking action, people are personally taking steps to save lives and fight back against a disease that takes too much.