It began with a lap around the West Seattle Stadium track featuring the participants hailed as heroes – cancer survivors and their caregivers. And with that, this year’s West Seattle Relay for Life was underway as of about an hour ago. More than 20 teams are there for the all-night relay-style walkathon/campout.
They’re raising money for the American Cancer Society, with a goal of $50,000. Some teams and participants have been raising money all year, like tonight’s greeters, the mother-and-daughter team of Gerry and Lauri Cunningham:
Again this year, they made and sold spaghetti dinners to go, and told us tonight that they raised more than a thousand dollars. Just before the kickoff lap by survivors and caregivers, participants heard from organizers including Sarah, who identified herself as a survivor – diagnosed with kidney cancer at age 3, now cancer-free 20 years later: “The money you raise is saving someone’s life,” she said. “It saved mine.” As the night goes on, a long list of activities awaits participants – from the reflective luminaria ceremony at 10 pm (you are welcome to go make your own luminaria in honor of someone fighting cancer or someone who has passed) …
… to lighthearted activities like balloon ping-pong, hula-hooping, and midnight bowling, plus music by “DJ Gary.” It’s participants only from 11 pm to 5 am (some will walk, some will sleep, some will even watch movies) but visitors are welcome the rest of the time. At the heart of it is the walking, whether you’re in costume (like team Answers for Cancers, below) or not:
Tomorrow morning’s schedule includes 8 am yoga and stretches, a fire truck visit at 9 am, the kids’ parade at 10 am, and closing ceremony at 11:30 am. It’s not too soon to start thinking about getting involved next year, either by organizing a team or volunteering to help behind the scenes – more info (and donation links) can be found on the official WSR4L page.