It’s that time of year again, Weston! Relay for Life is coming May 18, and we want to make it our best year yet. This year marks Weston/Westport’s third annual relay event and the American Cancer Society’s 100th birthday.
For those of you who are new to relay, Relay for Life is an all-night event to raise money for cancer research. Relay is intended to build cancer awareness and fund raising to help the fight against cancer. Relay for Life has been an ongoing event since the 1980s, raising a total of $18 million per year nationwide.
On the night of the event, teams of about 15 people each walk the track to represent how “cancer never sleeps.” The whole night is filled with entertainment and games to keep the participants awake and filled with spirit.
In addition to the lighthearted activities, there are more serious traditions — kicking off with the opening ceremony.
This is followed by three important laps. The first is the “Survivor Lap,” where survivors walk the track to celebrate their victory over cancer; they are then joined by caregivers whose time, commitment and love for their patients, friends, and family is recognized.
The Luminaria Ceremony takes place after dark. During this, candles are lit inside personalized luminaria bags that are placed all around the track, remembering the people we have lost to cancer, and honoring and supporting those who have fought and are still fighting cancer.
After this touching ceremony there is a lap of silence. This is one of the most emotional parts of the evening as participants reflect on the struggles of loved ones.
The next event is the Fight Back Ceremony, which encourages the participants to make a commitment to fighting cancer in whatever way they can. This can range from donating to cancer research to providing support for cancer patients to something more personal.
Another option is to take part in the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3). This new research will be offered at this year’s Weston/Westport Relay for Life, which was chosen out of hundreds of relay sites. It invites men and women between the ages of 30 and 65 who have never had cancer to be part of a research study. The study is intended to understand how to prevent cancer, by examining at least 30,000 adults’ lifestyles.
Learn more about CPS-3 at cancer.org/research/researchprogramsfunding/epidemiology-cancerpreventionstudies/cancerpreventionstudy-3/index.
Relay for Life will take place from 2 p.m. Saturday, May 18, to 7 a.m. Sunday, May 19. The events will begin at 5 p.m.
Relay for Life Weston/Westport was voted best Relay in the Northeast, so be sure you come to be a part of this fantastic celebration. We hope to see you all there to celebrate, remember and fight back!
Registration or even just donation information is available online at relay.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLCY13NE?fr_id=51966&pg=entry. Follow Relay for Life Weston/Westport at twitter.com/RelayCT and like us at facebook.com/relayct?fref=ts.