Rain ruins festival
...but doesn’t hamper spirits
In this case, that unforeseen event just happened to be caused by Mother Nature, which sent a cascade of rain drops down upon members of the community who had gathered to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, remember those who have been lost to the disease and give some an avenue to fight back.
The relay got underway on March 29, but was canceled a couple of hours into the event. However, the two most important events will still go on as planned sometime in May, with an exact date to be determined soon.
Those events are the Cancer Survivor Celebration and the Luminary Ceremony.
The Cancer Survivor Celebration is where the community gets the chance to honor the brave men and women who looked cancer in the eye and walked away victorious. During the celebration, the survivors enjoy punch and food before getting the chance to walk relay style around the West Bank Bridge Park grounds. While they walk, each survivor is identified to the community and the crowd is told exactly what type of cancer the person had.
Then, the king and queen of the event give a speech where they tell about their battle.
"We had a life saved because of a speech when a man heard one of the king's stories and was encouraged to go and get a prostate exam even though he felt he was too young," Relay For Life Chairperson Terri Harries said. "The exam showed that the man had cancer, but because of early detection, he was able to successfully fight the disease."
After the Cancer Survivor Celebration, the Luminary Ceremony will begin. During this event, luminary bags, numbering between 1,500 to 3,000 are lit in honor of both those fighting cancer and those that have lost their lives to the disease.
"It's the most wonderful event because the whole community comes together," Harries said of Relay For Life. "We are not going to go through the year without having this amazing event."
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