Monday, May 5, 2014

Successful Relay

This past weekend was the Edgecombe County Relay for Life that I co-chaired along with my good friend Caroline and it was not only successful, but also an amazing time. I've blogged before about Relay and my passion for raising awareness (and money) for cancer research (read here) but this year was even bigger as it was my first time being SO involved in the whole planning process.

big cheesing at 3 in the morning (I think I was mid-laugh)

We were busy all week prepping for the big event, running last minute errands and making sure we had every thing we needed for a successful Relay.

at the track Thursday afternoon hanging banner with Caroline and "Mr Relay", Steve
In case you've never heard of Relay for Life, it is the trademark event of the American Cancer Society. People form teams to raise money and awareness for cancer research and create themes for their campsites which are set up at an all-night event, usually held on a football field with a track. All night long, teams sell items or raffle tickets for fundraising and participate in games and other fun things to keep them up all night, celebrating the lives of cancer survivors and caregivers and remembering those we've lost to the disease.

one of our new teams and their awesome "Giant Slayer's" theme and campsite
The event always involves a survivor lap where survivors are applauded and cheered on as they make a lap around the field then a caregiver lap for those who have provided aid to cancer patients, followed by a team lap where each team walks around the track with their banners.

the AF-JROTC leads the survivor lap

We not only had the usual entertainment of performers and dancing but also enjoyed a woman-less beauty pageant that was absolutely hilarious (and involved some twerking).

check out those lovely "ladies"
my friend Lee, working hard for the money

Our torch lap that begins our luminary ceremony where we honor survivors and those we've lost to cancer is probably the most touching ceremony and most definitely the one that makes me cry the hardest. We turn out every light in the stadium so the only light is coming from the luminaries stationed around the track (torches, white bags with candles and gold bags with candles), our candle displays on the bleachers and the big torch that is walked around the track by either the family members of the person being memorialized or the survivor being honored. We also sell giant lit balloons that are let go at the end of the ceremony.

the luminary ceremony
via Ashley Marie Photography
Throughout the night we do theme laps to try to keep people up and moving, having a good time. Since cancer doesn't sleep, neither do we. We also had an entire hour of line dancing.

Blurry photo from the beach lap, and hellooo baby bump
This year was different for our county because we moved to a new location. It was quite the logistical adventure and I am so thankful that Caroline & I had an amazing committee who came up with ideas and plans to make this year work.
me and Caroline (and her daughter Haley & our friend Chad) throughout the Relay planning process
While I adore Relay, this year was super difficult for me. All night Friday night I had horrible back pain and nausea, I just thought it was from being pregnant and standing up for almost 24 hours so I suffered through, thinking of all those cancer patients who go through so much worse. Then Sunday morning I woke up and passed my first ever kidney stone!

Do you Relay? 


  1. Line dancing - i love it! This is so awesome and looks like so much!

  2. ours is Friday night. Pray we don't end up with rain as they are predicting a 50% chance of storms.

  3. You guys did an amazing job! I got there Friday night right before the luminary ceremony, and there was hardly anywhere to park... such a great turn out, especially with the location change. PS, I love the way that Edgecombe does the luminary ceremony with the torch lap... its' really touching! I'll be relaying this weekend, right down the road in Farmville.