Lee’s Summit Takes A Stand Against Cancer
June 21, 2014
By Wendy Hayworth
174 people came together on the night of June 13, 2014 to stand against cancer in an event called Relay for Life. Relay for Life is a fundraising event put on by the American Cancer Society that focuses not only on research but also the lives affected by cancer.
“It is a 12-hour overnight event and that’s to symbolize that cancer doesn’t sleep and neither will we,” Callie Allen, Relay for Life specialist, said. “It’s a time for us to remember our loved ones that we’ve lost to cancer, celebrate our loved ones that are survivors and caregivers here with us, and then it’s a time for us to fight back.”
The event is filled with events to keep participants awake and occupied. As long was at least one team member was walking the track, teams were welcome to explore the various campsites throughout the night.
“This relay, we had a DJ come out and he was up there the whole time. We also did a Relay for Life selfie, Allen said.
Other activities included: pie in the face, face painting, a water balloon toss, a scavenger hunt, the chicken dance, and themed laps around the track, such as the ‘limbo lap’ or ‘name that tune.’
“Later on in the evening we have what’s called a luminaria ceremony, Allen said.
Luminaria bags could be purchased ‘in honor of’ or ‘in memory of’ loved ones. Their names are written on the outside of the bag and a votive candle is placed inside.
Once the bags are lined up, the lights go off and a moment of silence is had.
“Then we kick back up with our entertainment and activities until our closing ceremony,” Allen said.
Money is raised through this event by the teams and their individual fundraising.
Every cent earned goes back to the American Cancer Society to continue funding research, programs, and services.
This year the 174 participants raised $30,358.65 for the fight against cancer.
“We encourage anybody and everybody to come out and experience it,” Allen said. “Words mean nothing to what you actually experience when you’re out there.”