Last June I wrote about a cancer fund raising event in Baldwinsville called Relay For Life that my friend Scott was a participant in. This year they did it again, and I’m calling it part two because it’s the second time I’m writing about it, but in actuality it’s the 4th year of the event.

His team name this year was Hearts and Hands and it was a fairly nice sized team. Last year they were the top fund raising team, and this year they came in second, even though they raised more money than the previous year; talk about your spirits of competition!

I don’t raise funds, but I contribute, then I go to show some support. They started things off officially with a group singing of the national anthem, putting a new spin on it that was pretty interesting. Then they took care of some business, including some great work by Ted Long of 93Q Radio.

Finally it was time for some introductions to get things going, since the cancer fund raiser is actually a walk, where people would be walking pretty much from just past 7PM until 6AM in the morning for each team. There was a group of people together who were cancer survivors and they were all holding balloons. He asked first for those survivors for 3 years or less to release their balloons. Then it was 5 years, 10 years, and on until the final group, those who had survived for more than 30 years. Once all those balloons were gone they started walking around the track, with a few of them being pushed in wheelchairs and others being driven slowly around the track in a truck.

The next group of people that walked were the caregivers for those that had cancer, survivors or not. That group was diverse, and cancer of course is diverse as well. Finally it was time for all the different teams to be introduced, and this year there were so many teams that they actually had to have the early teams walk off the track when they went around so that every team could have its own send off moment.

Once that was done then representatives for each team started walking. Each team was given a baton that had Q-codes on it so that they could register the laps throughout the night. Even though I wasn’t officially on the team I took the baton and walked 5 laps as well. See the little video below:


 

Beyond that there was food, sweets, and even a booth where a pretty young woman was giving chair massages. I wish I had paid for more than just 5 minutes, as it was quite relaxing, and I also wish I’d had the massage after I walked instead of beforehand, but hey, that’s how things go. They also had young dancers and karate kids giving exhibitions at one end of the track, and there was a guy there breaking boards in half; that was intriguing.

Later on, after I left, they lit bags of sand with candles in them, known as luminaria, as tribute to those that had passed away from cancer, and then they lit a series of water jugs with candles in them that had been placed in the bleachers spelling out the word “hope”.

I was there just over 2 1/2 hours before I left; I don’t do outside for long if there are bugs involved, and since the wooded area around the high school out there seemed to be bringing in the bugs, even with fires and being sprayed with a Listering/water mix, I decided that was as long as I was holding out. I also didn’t win anything this year, as I was shooting for a 46″ flat screen HDTV w/BluRay player or an iPad 2, but that’s okay; not sure what I’d have done with them anyway. lol

Cancer is insidious, and they raised over $100,000 from the event; that’s cool. I found out that there was another walk going on in Liverpool at the same time, and I wondered if I’d have known any of those people but that’s okay because I always support my friends. I was glad to be the very small part of it that I was, since I’ve been touched by cancer with my dad and grandmother and many other relatives as well.

I expect he’ll be doing it again next year, and I’ll do what I can in my small way to contribute once more. If you’d like to donate to the cause, click here to fight cancer.
 

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