Monday, May 7, 2012

Relay for Life...

Hi again everyone,
I promised you photos from the weekend and here I shall deliver! However first I wanted to tell you a little about what it was that I did these last two days.

This weekend I was at the Relay for Life. The Relay for Life is a 24 hour event where people/communities/schools/corporations spend 24 hours walking/jogging/running/sprinting around a athletics stadium to raise money for cancer research! It is a very fun and exciting event. People from all walks of life come to fight together against such a horrible disease. And they dress up and dress up their tents too! Which is pretty epic! :)

This weekend I was working with one of my closest friends, Tanya, to work on the Ceremonies Committee. Our job was to make the stage, performances, presentations, speeches, dances, go smoothly for our guests and presenters, and also for the thousands of people who were there this weekend. To keep them energized and motivated to keep moving around the track! So I was the "little details" sort of person. Making sure the Guest speakers had nice chairs to sit on, drying off the slippery stage after the rain made an appearance, sorting out prizes and collecting certificates from the Cancer Council Committee Members, putting the banners up, handing out tent site banners for the winners of various categories, putting the starting ribbon out for the dignitaries to cut before the relay could start... and so on... and so on.... and so on! I think I worked for 15 hours on the Ceremonies alone. And unlike the walkers on the track... I went home to bed for a few hours before returning on day two!

One thing I also participated in, on the first day that needs mentioning, was the Candle lighting ceremony. For this I was asked to go up on stage to stand for all those people who care for loved ones with cancer and other horrific diseases. There was a little boy that stood beside me that was a cancer survivor (he nearly broke my heart... he was only 5!). And I had another lady next to me who was also a Cancer survivor. The three of us represented Past (the older lady who was a survivor), The Present (me), and the Future (the little boy). We lit candles together and stood for a message much bigger than ourselves. The ceremony was amazing. Very moving and really heartfelt. They dimmed the lights on the track and had "memorial candle gardens" around the edges of the track. Earlier in the day people had decorated paper bags in memory of those who had been loved and lost and placed them in these "gardens". They also had a huge HOPE sign in the grandstand that was individual paper bags that glowed in the night light!

After the ceremony there was a quiet lap done for reflection and memory. Where there were some beautiful longs played and a slideshow of all those who had lost their battle with cancer! It was very sad.

One thing I learned is that before the age of 80, one in two people will be diagnosed with cancer. That is terrible odds! But this gives every reason to find a cure!

I walked on the "quiet lap" for some friends of mine who have died (including one who was only 5 years old), my grand-parents, and some of my extended family. Cancer has had a huge impact in my family! And events like Relay for Life mean that money raised gives hope to the next generations of my family, and people I know and love.

Well, it wasn't all sadness, reflection and silence. We had a lot of fun too! We danced and sang along to bands/soloists/swing dancers/country singers and so many more. We met or listened to local television and radio stars who acted as MC's. All in all it was a really good event! :)

AND the event raised a grand total of $750,000!!! How cool is that????

So I bet now you want those photos.... well... here they are....

This is the ribbon cutting... you can see the Governor with the scissors and the purple ribbon the the right side of the picture!
This is the "survivors walk" the cancer survivors get to be the first to walk around the track at the start of the Relay.

More Survivors walking on the first lap!

The Horde... the rest of those walking/running for Relay for Life!

The Grandstand "Hope" Message that they had lit with candles for the evening Candle Lighting Ceremony

Me (Daena) and Tanya just about to head home after doing a heap of packing...

Tanya and I & our awesome Committee t-shirts!

A little bit of love... Tanya and I mucking around after doing the packing away before heading home!
Well that is just a tiny insight into Relay for Life... If you want to walk or support the event next year or start fundraising now for next years event, head over the the Cancer Councils website found here! That is for the Western Australian Relay for Life... but I know if you Google it... they have Relay for Life's in many other countries too! Check it out! :)

Thanks for all the support and encouragement! This last two weekends has been pretty busy but also very exciting!

Much love,

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