In 1985, Dr.Gordy Klatt began walking to raise money for the American Cancer Society. This lead to the founding of the Relay for Life movement. Thirty years later, the Relay for Life is the largest fundraising event fighting to end cancer. Last year over 5,000 relay events were held in 23 countries with over 4 million participants. The Relay for Life is an overnight walking event where participants form teams that take turns walking from 4pm to 8am. The reason behind walking throughout the night is to symbolize that “cancer never sleeps.”
The Relay teams set-up tents and sell a variety of goods from snacks to art, with all of the proceeds being donated to the American Cancer Society. There are many other events that occur throughout the night to keep everyone awake and motivated, such as the Luminaria Ceremony. This ceremony is a tribute to those fighting cancer and to remember those who have lost their fight. Teams are given candle bags which they can decorate in honor of a loved one. During the ceremony, the candles inside the bags are lit while the rest of the lighting from the venue is turned off. The result is a very memorable and meaningful walk.
This is the seventh year that the Relay for Life of Cumberland has held this event. Last year they had 226 participants on 26 teams raising a total of $70,000. This year’s relay will be held on May 30th at Diamond Hill State Park. Roberta Bernier, our bookkeeper, is leading a team, Rita’s Roses, in memory of her mother. Jackie Pinto, one of our Personal Lines Customer Service Respresentatives, has joined Roberta’s team and has also been actively involved on the Relay for Life committee for several years. Throughout the month of April, we had casual Fridays at the office to benefit Rita’s Roses. We raised over $320 dollars towards the fight to end cancer. To learn more information about the Relay for Life or to donate to the team, visit www.relayforlife.org.
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