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Relay For Life 2017

Kylie Kuskowski, Staff Writer

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On Saturday, May 20th, 2017, the people of Clinton Township gathered at the Chippewa Valley Ninth Grade Center track to stand up and raise money for cancer research. Relay For Life is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. This event is staffed only by volunteers who want to bring awareness to cancer and make it a word that is no longer feared. People of the community come together to show nobody has to face cancer alone, there is always someone there for you.

“Relay is a team fundraising event where team members take turns walking around a track or designated path. Each event is 6-24 hours in length and each team is asked to have a member on the track at all times to signify that cancer never sleeps. Cancer patients don’t stop because they’re tired, and for one night, neither do we. Each team sets up a themed campsite at the event and continues their fundraising efforts by collecting donations for food, goods, games, and activities. This money will count towards their overall team fundraising goal.”

The event starts with the opening ceremony, where everyone cheers on those who have been affected by cancer in any way. Then, they do a survivors lap. “Survivors define courage and inspire those facing a cancer diagnosis. Their strength is honored with each step they take around the first lap.” After the survivors is the caregivers lap. Here they honor those who have dedicated their time to supporting those in need. At the end of the day once it is dark out, they set up the luminaria ceremony. The track is lined with hundreds of bags illuminated with candles in honor of everyone who has dealt with cancer. “Each luminaria bag represents a loved one lost to cancer, brings support to those affected by it, and honors survivors. This powerful moment gives people the opportunity to grieve but also offers hope and comfort.” The closing ceremony is the big finish to the whole event. This is the time when everyone celebrates what they have done together to fight back against cancer. “Together, we commit to take action and help end the pain and suffering of cancer” (Relay for Life).

As you’re walking around the track you are surrounded by so many people, each having their own story and journey. Everyone walks with a purpose. I personally have my own relation with cancer when my grandmother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and passed away a few months later due to this horrific disease. With this event, I am able to do my part in fighting back to what took my family member away from me and try to prevent this from occurring to anyone else in my family.

“Each year, I make the effort to walk for my dad. This year it was different. This year I did not walk in honor of my dad, but in memory of him. Every person has their own reason they walk each year at Relay for Life, and I believe that really shows through during the luminary service, when everyone is there for each other.”
-Ariana Zaglaniczny, Junior at Chippewa Valley High School

“I walk at Relay for Life in memory of my brother Peter, who passed in August 2012. Since then, Relay has been a way to honor his memory because of how important it was to him when he was alive. Walking at Relay also helps me to become closer with those who affected by cancer and to help support their families, like they did for my family.”
-Andrew Dubon, Junior at Chippewa Valley High School

“I walk at Relay for all of those who can’t. I walk at Relay for all the people who lost their battle, are fighting it, and those who won their battle. In the last three years of Relay for Life, I walked about forty-five miles because I am physically able to, which some people that have cancer cannot. I also wanted to support Ms. Wouters and all the other people that have cancer.”
-Isabella Marra, Junior at Chippewa Valley High School

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Relay For Life 2017