One Magical Night at Relay for Life

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Chase Hoven writes, What were you doing on the night of July 24 – 25? Well, for most people, you were probably asleep or just going to bed.

What were you doing on the night of July 24 – 25? Well, for most people, you were probably asleep or just going to bed. But for nearly three hundred people in South Metro Denver, we were awake and helping the fight against cancer. In support of the twenty fifth anniversary of Relay for Life, we stayed up all night and walked around a half-mile course to show that cancer never sleeps, and neither do we. Relay for Life was founded in 1985 when a man from Tacoma, Washington wanted to raise money to help fight cancer. For twenty four hours, he walked around a track at Baker Stadium, helping raise $27,000 for cancer research. Since then, Relay, as it is abbreviated, has been introduced all around the United States and in nineteen other countries around the world. This years Relay program for the Highlands Ranch / Lone Tree area was held at Redstone Park . Hundreds gathered for the official start at 6:30 P.M. The first part of the Relay was the introduction. This included a brief history of Relay for Life and how it has grown ever since. After that, the survivors of cancer took the first lap around the track which officially started the event. For the whole night, at least one person from our team was walking the half-mile track around the park. My family and I were part of our church, Pax Christi, so we had plenty of people to share the duty. The Relay officially ended at 6:30 the next morning on July 25. In honor of the Relay’s tradition for the past 25 years, we ended with everybody walking the last lap around the track together. There were also many other special events going on throughout the night. At 7:30 in the evening, everybody gathered for the traditional luminaria preparation, where the lantern bags our church had made were placed around the course with a name of a person who had lost their battle with cancer on the front. Later, each person received a plastic candle and placed inside the bag so the light would illuminate the path that we would walk at night. Other fun activities included the Disney Hour, where our DJ played famous Disney songs and the Backwards lap, where everybody walked the course in the opposite direction. Of course, everyone was tired after spending an entire night awake, but knowing you did something good for the past, present and the future of cancer made it all some much more special when we all crossed the finish line on our final lap as a team. I hope to see you at next years Relay for Life!

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