Monday, July 28, 2008

Relay for Life in Eugene

Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature activity. Teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Relays are an overnight event, up to 24 hours in length.

Co-Captains - Phyllis and Nan

Relay For Life began in Tacoma, Washington in the mid-1980s by Dr. Gordy Klatt, a Tacoma colorectal surgeon who wanted to enhance the income of his local American Cancer Society office and to show support for all of his patients who had battled cancer. He decided to personally raise money for the fight by doing something he enjoyed – running marathons.

In May 1985, Dr. Klatt spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. He ran for more than 83 miles. That first year, nearly 300 of Dr. Klatt's friends, family, and patients watched as he ran and walked the course. Throughout the night, friends donated $25 to run or walk with Dr. Klatt for 30 minutes. His efforts raised $27,000 to fight cancer.

While circling the track those 24 hours, Dr. Klatt thought about how others could take part in his mission to fight cancer. He envisioned a 24-hour team relay event that could raise more money to fight cancer. Over the next few months, he pulled together a small committee to plan the first team relay event, known as the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer.

Pirates Sandra and Stacy

Pirates Nan and Sandra

What it has taught me is person can make a difference. It was an awesome opportunity for me to participate for the second year in a row.

Survivor Lap - More and more each year!

Our Survivor friends - Phyllis, Sandy and Colleen

The most moving experience is the Luminaria ceremony held at dusk. I made one in Karen's memory and found one that someone had done for my Dad's friend, Roy Hill.

The Relay for Life in Eugene has now become one of the largest in the country and is held the last Friday of every July.

This year's theme......"Make A Million" inspired our team to put together a pirate ship along with pirate costumes for all the walkers. We all had a great time and raised almost $9500 (I personally raised $485).

I feel honored to have participated. Thanks to all who helped.