Coming together to show support for those fighting cancer, those who have survived, and those who have lost the battle … that’s what Relay for Life is all about.
On February 20 at Cave Spring Middle School, kids from all over the Roanoke Valley came to offer their support and show their committment towards the fight against cancer. These kids gathered to rally for the first ever Relay for Life of Roanoke Valley Schools, which will take place on March 16 at the Cave Spring Middle School track. This is the first time in the Roanoke Valley that students are in charge of organizing an event of this caliber. Of course, the students have guidance from adults, but for the most part they do it all themselves. Long time American Cancer Society volunteer Lucy Walton says, “not having done this before, we are certainly learning a lot. But it’s been great.” The kids who gathered on Wednesday, February 20 all seemed to echo what Lucy said… “it’s been great.”
It’s amazing to see students from different schools, come together and work together to make something this important happen. Northside student Tyler Langhorn and Glenvar student Chris Bell served as the leaders of the rally and helped to explain how the relay works as well as what to expect at the event. Tyler Langhorn asked the group what they thought participants did during the relay. “It’s not running laps like I thought at first,” he said. He went on to explain that it’s about coming together as a community and walking laps to show support for those touched by the disease. After this, Langhorn and Bell played a short informational video about what Relay for Life is about and then went on to talk about the Luminaria bags. Luminaria bags are a symbol of respect towards survivors, those who are fighting and those who have lost the battle to the disease. From the American Cancer Society web page: “Luminaria, paper bags containing votive candles, are transformed and illuminated after dark at every local Relay For Life event. Each luminaria is personalized with a name, photo, message or drawing in memory or honor of a friend or loved one who has been affected by cancer. Luminaria can also be dedicated in support of a Relay participant. Each luminaria candle represents a person.”
The Relay for Life of Roanoke Valley Schools takes place on Saturday, March 16, 2013, at the Cave Spring Middle School track from 2-7 p.m. The survivor and caregiver gathering will take place before the event, at 1 p.m.
You can read more about the First Ever Relay for Life of Roanoke Valley Schools in this article, or on the American Cancer Society webpage, here. You can also register for the event at www.relayforlife.org/rvsva. Anyone can register and participate. There is a $10 participant commitment fee, but no fee for cancer survivors.
– Elizabeth Watts Jones