Relay for Life 2017

Nicki Roof, Reporter

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Relay for Life 2017 took place this past Friday at Wiregrass Ranch High School. It was an amazing night. Over 30 teams showed up with tents, games, food, and more. Set up was crazy, everyone unloaded their cars and prepared their campsites. Once all the teams arrived and were set up, opening ceremonies began. During opening ceremonies the event leaders give their speeches and the survivors were honored. The survivors sit with their caregivers on the track while the rest make their way to the stands. This year our ASL students performed a song while the survivors took their lap. The survivor lap is one of the most special parts of relay. This is where the survivors walk one way on the track and all their caregivers go the other, coming together in the middle. After the lap the survivor dinner was underway. The survivors meet up with their families and other survivors for a sit down dinner. That is when the party kicked up, the bands played, the crazy laps started and the fun began! Once the sun was down the track was lined with white paper bags each with a round candle in them.  It was time to begin the luminaria ceremony. Luminaria is a very touching time for all. All night family members, caregivers and friends decorate white paper bags , either in memory or honor of a loved one, which are lined along the track and at 9pm the lights go out. The track is lit by these bags. We all gather in the center of the field and watch the slideshow that honors those who are fighting the battle, have lost the battle, and those who have the won battle against cancer.

To close out the ceremony we join together in a silent walk around the track. Following luminaria is Mr.Relay, where the boys dress up as girls and go around collecting money for their team and at 10pm they have a battle it out in a dance party. Whoever gets the loudest cheer is crowned Mr.Relay. The rest of the night we celebrate the strength in the community among our survivors and everyone affected by cancer. It’s a very important night for so many of us. We have all been affected by cancer in some way and that is why this night is so special, It’s a night where we all come together with the one common goal, to finish the fight against cancer. We are a army of purple!

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