I walked in my first Relay for Life event this past Saturday night. Well, technically it was the first charity walk event I have ever been in! And let me tell ya, it was so much fun! I was asked to be on my friend Bri's family's team way back on Easter. I wasn't really sure if we would still be in Lamar by the time it rolled around, but luckily we were!
For those of you who are not familiar with Relay for Life, it is a charity walk for the American Cancer Society. This year marks the 25th Anniversary for Relay for Life. Bri's family has walked in Relay for Life for the past several years. Her dad, Tim, was diagnosed with prostate cancer I believe back in 2001. He had surgery that same year and is now a cancer survivor. They have walked in Relay for Life ever since. I was so honored that they asked me to be a part of their family team!
The event began at 6:30 Saturday night and lasted until 7:00 Sunday morning. The idea is that at least one person from each team needs to be walking at all times. I got there a little before 6:00 and discovered that Bri was walking around selling tickets for a fifty/fifty drawing. However much money they raised, half of the money went to the winning raffle ticket, the other half our team donated to the American Cancer Society. What was really neat to see was that a lot of the other "campsites" that we approached were also doing their own type of fundraiser. Of course not having been to an event like this, I had no cash on me.
Around 6:30 they made the announcement for everyone to literally cram into the stadium bleachers so a group picture could be taken. Then they had an opening ceremony. Once that was over, they had all of the cancer survivors go down to the track and make the first lap. After that, everyone else was asked to go down to the track as well so everyone could make their first lap as a large group. This is a picture of everyone walking:
After that Bri and I volunteered to walk for our team, while the rest of the team went back to camp to prepare our dinner. Here's a picture of us on our first lap!
Needless to say, by the time we were relieved we were famished! Once we ate, we relaxed for awhile before relieving other team members. We did this off and on, walking then taking a break. Throughout the night there were all kinds of activities planned such as a dance performance, water balloon volleyball, a scavenger hunt, etc. We didn't participate in any of those activities but they were fun to watch when we had the chance.
Once midnight rolled around, Bri's mom made a list of thirty minute intervals that different people in our team would walk so people would have time to relax and take a quick nap if they wanted too. I volunteered to take the first time slot because unfortunately I was not going to be staying all night because Greg had planned a bike ride for us the next day. (Falling asleep on the back seat of the Harley does not sound appealing to me!) I left around 1:00 and had walked I think a little over 5 miles!
I found out that $72,508.11 was raised from the Lamar Relay for Life. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how much money was raised by our team. I do know that Bri's mom alone raised over $2,000.00! Thank you so much to everyone who sponsored me: my parents, Uncle John and Aunt Liz, Grandma C., Corey and Christina, Steve, and Ron! I had so much fun and it felt great to support such a great cause!