Julia Roberts Goad
The Tug Valley Relay for Life events are slated for June 21 at Lefty Hamilton Park in West Williamson beginning at 7 p.m.
The theme for this year’s event is “Let’s wipeout cancer.”
Relay for Life is held in cooperation with the American Cancer Society. Following an opening ceremony, the event opens with a Survivors Lap – an inspirational time when survivors are invited to circle the track together and help everyone celebrate the victories we’ve achieved over cancer. We also recognize and celebrate caregivers at Relay For Life. These individuals give their time, love, and support to friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers who face cancer.
After dark, those who have been touched by cancer and remember loved ones lost to the disease during the Luminaria Ceremony. Candles are lit inside bags filled with sand, each one bearing the name of a person touched by cancer, and participants often walk a lap in silence.
The final event of the evening is the Fight Back Ceremony, where participants make a personal commitment to save lives by taking up the fight against cancer. That personal commitment may be to do something as simple as getting a screening test, quitting smoking, or talking to elected officials about cancer. By taking action, people are personally taking steps to save lives and fight back against a disease that takes too much.
Everyone’s reason to Relay is as unique as their own personal story. At Relay, you can find healing, comfort, and support from others who have faced cancer or who have lost a loved one to the disease. You have a chance to meet people in the community who are equally as passionate about finding an end to cancer in our lifetime.
No matter why you take part in Relay, however, one thing is clear: with every step you take, you are helping the American Cancer Society save lives. With your help, we aren’t just fighting one type of cancer – we’re fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. Each person who shares the Relay experience can take pride in knowing that they are working to create a world where this disease will no longer threaten the lives of our loved ones or claim another year of anyone’s life.
Opening ceremonies will begin at 7 p.m. The opening ceremony brings everyone together for a high-energy event kickoff to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, to inspire hope by sharing recent accomplishments and progress, and to remind everyone that while we are winning this battle, fighting cancer is a year-round priority.
At 7:15, the Survivor Lap will begin. During the Survivors Lap, upbeat music plays as all cancer survivors at the event take the first lap around the track cheered on by the other participants who line the track, celebrating their victory over cancer.
The Luminaria Ceremony will take place at dusk, approximately 9:30. The Luminaria Ceremony is a time to remember people we have 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.
The closing ceremony, slated for midnight, is a time to remember the lives of those lost and to celebrate that each of us has committed, through our participation in a Relay event, to fight back against this disease over the next year.