News From The American Cancer Society, SCV Unit
With its western theme and upbeat atmosphere, the American Cancer Society of Santa Clarita Valley’s Relay For Life 2017, “Giving Cancer the Boot” elevated more than spirits for its 4,000 attendees, it raised some serious greenbacks. Although donations are still coming in, the tally thus far is about $370, 000 – monies destined for lifesaving cancer research, education and early detection, advocacy on the government level, and free services and support to cancer patients.
Relay For Life was hot in more ways than one, declared Sandy Ends, ACS SCV Unit Leadership Council chair.
“Despite the temperature being 90 in the shade, our cancer survivors were out in great numbers, raffle sales were terrific, food truck items were delish, our spirits soared, the live entertainment was wonderful and, as always, our evening-time Luminaria Ceremony was very emotional and compelling,” said Ends, an 18-year breast cancer survivor and 17-year ACS volunteer.
Dedicated volunteers worked more than nine months in advance planning for the major annual event, noted Ends.
“The Relay Event Leadership team makes Relay For Life a jewel of our community events. Also it’s really heartwarming and inspiring to see the community support for Relay,” she said.
The ACS’s signature outdoor team-walking fundraiser, Relay was seamlessly tri-chaired by ACS SCV Unit super-volunteers Teresa Kerr and spouses Brad and Laura Peach.
Teresa Kerr echoed Ends’ gratitude for Relay’s many volunteers.
“This is an amazing group of people and they poured their hearts into Relay 2017. I couldn’t be more proud of them,” stated Kerr, whose husband Laurence Nissen also helped in many ways, including capturing wonderful Relay photos.
Sharon May participated in the first lap with fellow breast cancer survivor, ACS Bosom Buddies member and Canyon Country resident Cindy Conrad. It was curiosity that beckoned May to Relay eight years ago following her diagnosis. Since then, the first lap, which includes hundreds of purple (survivor) tee-shirted men, women and children, has become her favorite Relay activity.
“A neighbor told me ‘You HAVE to come.’ So I got the purple shirt and saw there were many hundreds of others wearing these shirts walking together,” May said. “As I walked, I realized, it’s not just me. I AM a survivor and I want to shout it to the world.”
Relay makes for an emotional day, but you do find strength in knowing you’re not alone, Cindy Conrad said.
“As I walk I know why I’m here…cancer. The Relay experience really brings it back, but everyone is so friendly and supports each other. We are like family,” stated Conrad, a mother of two grown sons who lost her own mom to colon cancer.
Conrad says she’s determined to remain a survivor, and is grateful to the ACS for all it does to fight cancer.
“One of my sons just got married. I’m more than thankful that I’m here. Now I’m waiting for grand kids,” she added, smiling.
Donations for Relay For Life 2017 will be accepted through Aug. 31. Please visit www.scvrelay.org for further information or call our local ACS office at (661) 298-0886 option 3.For 24-hour cancer information go to www.cancer.org or call (800) ACS-2345.
Among the many sponsors that helped make Relay 2017 possible, The Magazine of Santa Clarita is one of them. Thank you!
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