Relay For Life gearing up for kickoff
Everyone is invited to the 2013 Season Kick-Off for the Relay for Life of Whitehall.
The event takes place 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, in the lower-level auditorium of Fellowship Community, Whitehall.
All residents and business owners from the areas within the Whitehall-Coplay, Northampton, and Catasauqua school districts are encouraged to get involved.
The relay is a big undertaking. It takes nine months to plan and is done 100 percent by volunteers. A big thank you goes out to all the volunteers because we could not have a successful relay without them.
But we still need more volunteers to assist in areas such as advocacy, mission, accounting, online activities and entertainment, publicity, food, registration, fundraising, sponsorship, logistics and survivor luminaria. We are also looking for an event co-chair.
We also ask for the public and businesses to form teams of eight to 15 people. They can be family members, friends, business associates, church members – anyone. Teams are asked to raise awareness and money for the relay. As a general rule, teams raise $100 per person – that is asking five of your friends for $20. Some teams have raised as much as $10,000 a year.
The Relay for Life takes place 10 a.m. Saturday, June 22, through 10 a.m. Sunday, June 23 at the Whitehall High School football field.
It is an organized, overnight community fundraising walk. Teams of people camp out around the Whitehall High School football field. Members of each team take turns walking around the track against a backdrop of food, games, activities and live entertainment.
The American Cancer Society predicts 78,340 new cancer cases will be diagnosed in Pennsylvania in 2012. Cancer does not discriminate. It does not care if you are rich or poor, old or young, white, black, green, brown or orange. Most people know at least one person who has cancer – a family member, friend, business acquaintance or neighbor.
The relay's slogan is "Celebrate, Remember and Fight Back."
We celebrate cancer survivors and what they have overcome. Cancer no longer is a death sentence with early detection, current research, and medical breakthroughs. The relay includes a ceremonial survivor's lap and a special dinner for cancer survivors.
We remember people who were lost to cancer, and honor people who have fought or are fighting cancer. At the relay at 9:30 p.m., we begin our luminaria ceremony with a performance by an area bagpiper. The track is lined with luminaria bags that have been decorated by family and friends honoring the cancer victims who have died and those who are currently battling cancer. This is a very moving part of our program.
We fight back by inspiring relay participants to take tangible action against a disease that has taken too much. We need to get the word out to get tested early for known cancers such as breast and colon cancer, learn how to prevent skin cancer, help a smoker quit and learn about American Cancer Society recommendations regarding body weight, nutrition, and physical activity to stay healthy.