Last year I was a last minute recruit for a Relay For Life team. The team had numerous open slots, most of them during the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., and they wanted to keep someone from their team on the track at all times. My chronic insomnia and ability to walk for hours on end made me the perfect choice.
I didn’t keep track of the laps I walked, but I was on the track for the backwards lap, the hand jive lap and the luminaria lap. I probably logged seven or eight miles that night. I was one tired little relay for lifer the next day. That’s me, front and almost center, in the poodle skirt in the photo of last year’s team. It was a 50’s theme last year and the photo was taken at the beginning of the relay. I don’t have the photo of the few brave souls who braved the entire night, but we didn’t look as fresh and eager by morning.
If you have never been to a Relay For Life event, you can change that this year. There will probably be an event near you this spring. Relay For Life is a major fund raiser for the American Cancer Society. Teams set up booths selling food and crafts. There is usually live music and various competitions taking place in the infield while walkers take their laps around the track.
The luminaria lap is the most moving and is usually done shortly after nightfall. People can purchase luminaria to honor those who have lost their lives to cancer. The luminaria are lit and the lights at the stadium are turned off. The names of those being honored are read as walkers make a lap around the track.
Last year as a last minute recruit I wasn’t able to raise any money for the cause. However, since this year’s event in Crystal River won’t be held until April 13th, I have time to raise some money for the cause. I even have my own sandylikeabeach page with a modest goal of $250. You can visit my page and make a contribution. If each of my followers gives just one dollar, I’ll fall well short of my goal, so if you could give more than a dollar that would be so cool. Of course, I understand if giving isn’t your thing.
But for those of you who know me and used to work with me and have kids, remember when you would bring in order forms on your kids’ behalf selling candles/gift wrap/t-shirts/candy bars/cookie dough/Krispy Kreme donuts/Girl Scout cookies? I always bought something. Now it’s your turn to return the favor! Yes, I know I sold raffle tickets for baskets of cheer for ABWA’s scholarship fund. But those were baskets of cheer – the kind of cheer that comes in wine and liquor bottles with cheese and crackers and chocolate. You wanted that cheer! I didn’t want all those candles/gift wrap/t-shirts and I certainly didn’t need all those candy bars/cookie dough/Krispy Kreme donuts/Girl Scout cookies.
If you prefer to get something for the dollars you give and live in my area, then come on out today or tomorrow for a Relay For Life Smokin’ Out Cancer Bar-B-Que Cook Off and Music Festival at Nature’s Resort in Homosassa. It’s a beautiful day to be outdoors. Since it’s only a couple of miles from my house, I’m going to walk over there in a little while. I need to start practicing for that Relay For Life thing I signed on to do. Look for me there, I’ll be wearing green.