By BRIAN SMITH
Parker County Relay for Life is in its final planning stage for the event Saturday at Kangaroo Stadium in Weatherford.
Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society’s biggest volunteer fundraiser. The event goes from noon to midnight, which is something new, according to spokesperson Brandi Adams. The event had previously started in the evening and gone overnight before ending just after dawn.
Starting earlier in the day will hopefully allow more of the community to come out and support the event.
“We have a lot to celebrate this year, and the community can come and be a part of it,” Adams said. “This is the 100th anniversary of the American Cancer Society, so we’re hoping to get a big crowd.”
Adams said 40 teams and around 315 participants have signed up already and raised approximately $37,530, but teams can still sign up before Friday. Adams said. She said the Relay for Life is for people who have survived cancer, defeated the disease, or simply want to honor someone who has passed away from cancer.
Events will be held throughout the evening for survivors, including an exclusive special lap around the stadium track for caretakers and a candlelight luminaria ceremony at 9:30 p.m. The luminaria ceremony is a time to remember people lost to cancer, to support people who currently have cancer, and to honor people who have fought cancer in the past. The power of this ceremony lies in providing an opportunity for people to work through grief and find hope. Luminarias can be purchased in honor of someone by Googling Relay for Life of Parker County.
Nearly everyone has had someone they know affected by cancer. “Cancer is not the death sentence it once was, and that is because of our fabulous volunteers who work tirelessly to put on these events,” Adams said.
“They raise much-needed funds to go into research, they bring out the awareness of how critical early detection is, and they help to make the mission of the American Cancer Society a reality.”
Cancer has touched a member of Adams’ family, which is why she is involved with the event.
“My husband lost his big brother to cancer 11 years ago and his parents lost their eldest child,” Adams said. “Knowing that the cure did not come for him has inspired me and his family to work towards seeing it happen in my lifetime. And I have. His same diagnosis 13 years ago had a 25 percent chance of survival. If diagnosed today, he would have a 75 percent chance of survival. That, to me, is amazing.”
While the event may sound very somber, it really is fun as people get to talking with one another, Adams said.
For more information, contact Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org.