We expect you’ll see that word illuminated if you’re at West Seattle Stadium around 10 tonight, when the West Seattle Relay for Life luminaria ceremony lines the track with glowing tributes to loved ones either lost to, or fighting, cancer. The annual all-night fundraiser-on-foot began just after 6 tonight, first with words of encouragement from guest speaker Tracy Dart, who’s beaten breast cancer three times at just 37 years old:
She and other survivors, in purple T-shirts, walked the track for the first lap.
The rules are that each team must have at least one person walking at all times, through the end of the event at midmorning tomorrow. Right after the survivors’ lap, the Chief Sealth International High School Marching Band followed with their own walk around the track:
About 250 people are participating this year, and they’ve already raised more than $38,000, said chair Jilyan Perry during the opening ceremony, telling them, “Cancer never sleeps, so for this night, neither will we.” The teams have their respective headquarters set up in the stadium infield or off to the side – tents and all:
You’re welcome to go over to the stadium and donate, cheer them on, even participate in the luminaria ceremony (there’s a tent where people are making their own decorated bags for candles anchored in sand). (Or, you can donate online.) When not walking, participants also are playing games – Jilyan mentioned “marshmallow launching”! – and in the morning, they’ll have massages available from longtime WSB sponsor M3 Bodyworks. (WSB is among the Relay for Life co-sponsors again this year.)
ADDED 10:30 AM SATURDAY: Via Facebook, R4LWS just announced their fundraising has passed $50,000, in time for the closing ceremony. We stopped by the stadium early this morning as the fundraising M3 Bodyworks massages were under way:
And, lingering from last night’s luminaria ceremony, reminders like this one, of what, and who, the Relay is all about: