What do you expect when you come to Relay For Life anywhere in the Mohawk Valley? GREATNESS! The Relay for Life is such a unique experience. Relay For Life is a 24-hour camp out, literally! The atmosphere is energetic and the people are wonderful. People participate in Relay because they have been affected by cancer is some way.
From start to finish, SO many things are going on. The Relay For Life, kicks off with the survivor walk where cancer survivors of all ages take the first lap around the track to celebrate their fight while their team mates and participants of the event cheer them on from the sidelines. It is a proud moment for survivors to commemorate their courageous battle with a devastating disease that many people want to find a cure for.
Following the survivor lap, participants and visitors to Relay take to the track and walk. The idea is to have someone from every team walking the track at all times. Some participants walk for 30 minutes, some and hour. Imagine being at a track meet and runners are running to pass the baton to their team mate to run the rest of the way. Once the baton is caught, the next person takes off….. we at Relay, don’t technically run a race, but our walking is a testament to all the hours a patient spends battling cancer. Walking around the track is our way of fighting back. We are walking because we want to walk for a loved one who was diagnosed with cancer. We walk with pride knowing that the money we raised for the event will help those who need it most, RIGHT HERE AT HOME!
As we walk our way into the evening, the relaying doesn’t stop there. After dusk, we have a Luminaria ceremony the remember those who have battled with cancer. Leading up to the luminaries, participants set up special bags with their loved one’s names and later light them in the darkness. During the Luminaria ceremony, selected participants share their personal stories accompanied by heartfelt entertainment to set the mood. This can be emotional, but evermore supportive towards our cause. It truly is an experience to walk among the lighted bags and see how many people are affected by cancer.
As the night wears on, participants continue to walk, games are played, entertainment is still heard all while camping out in tents under the stars. When morning shows its bright colors, people are still walking, music is still playing and games are still being played. It’s such an exciting time. The Relay For Life ends with a closing ceremony in which teams learn how much they raised in addition to learning the grand total of monies raised for that event
If you have been a part of Relay, thank you! Your efforts do not go unnoticed. If you have not been a part of Relay, what are you waiting for? We want to meet you, to hear your story, to share. Consider visiting a Relay For Life at MVCC on June 10th & 11th.
Come experience the greatness that is the Relay For Life and walk with us to relay for life!