Day 181 – Relay for Life, Texas style

rflVernon, Texas, a little place on the Texas-Oklahoma line; not much to do here except hang with our friends.  Tonight I offered to cook dinner, so off to the grocery store we went.  If I can avoid WalMart, I will, so we stopped at United and picked up some grub.  Our clerk was an airy twenty-something with a bad attitude.  It didn’t matter how much I cajoled, she just wanted to go home and sleep, “I mean, it’s like, I have to go to this Relay for Life thing tonight, and it goes all night!” she said, with a roll of her eyes.  My ears perked up…Relay is here, tonight??  I started throwing questions at her…what time, where?  She didn’t know much, but at least I had been tipped off and I could figure out the rest on my own.

I have a home Relay, it’s in Blackfoot, Idaho – since the beginning I have been participating.  It’s the one charity I always support.  The American Cancer Society will find the cure for cancer and I’m going to help them do that.  For the last four years, I have been a “Grand Club” member, I just haven’t been to the Relay event itself for awhile.  One thing I do know is that every Relay is different.  I’ve been to my “local” Relays, Idaho Falls, Blackfoot and Pocatello.  All of them have a similar feel, they are of similar size and enthusiasm.  Last year we stopped by a Relay in Colorado Springs while we were there.  This year, it was the Relay for WilbargerCounty held at the Covered Arena in Vernon.

It’s a small relay, only 14 teams, 175 participants.  To date they have raised over $29,000 with a goal of $40,000.  It’s also an early Relay.  In Idaho, we don’t Relay until the weather turns, and then sometimes it’s still a guess.  But even with a small Relay, you could feel the excitement in the air; they were having fun and doing good work.  We met the chairman and the staff partner and thanked them both for the hard work.  If ever you have wondered how much work goes in to an event, wonder no longer…volunteer to help instead.

It’s that time again to get on the band wagon and help raise some money.  I Relay for my Mom and all of us who have been touched by cancer; whether directly or not, we all have a dog in this fight!  Stand up and help, it’s up to all of us to rid the world of cancer, one dollar at a time if we have to.  To make a secure online donation straight to the American Cancer Society; Donate here  http://main.acsevents.org/goto/skrehbiel

Day 358 – What we do Speaks so Loud it can Never Compete with what we Say

April 1, 2000 I lost my mom to cancer, I was 36, way too young to lose my mother, I still had questions for her, still needed answers, support, there were still too many things to talk about.  In 2005, my community had their first Relay for Life event, it was the beginning of a very good thing in my life.

Relay for Life is an American Cancer Society event, it happens in over 4000 communities around the world.  It began in 1986 by an oncologist, Dr. Gordy Klatt, who wanted to run through the night to support his patients.  It has grown to the largest fundraising event that ACS does.  There are many parts of Relay that I love.  The season is awesome if you live in a small town especially, every week there is another fundraiser to attend, and they run the full gamut, from Bid for Bachelors to car washes; scrapbook crops to Bunko – I love the “season.”  This is our chance to Fight Back – raise money to help fund the cure.

The Relay event itself has some common themes across the country.  There is always a Survivor Lap – at least one lap to Celebrate those that have had cancer and made it through.  After dark, there will be the Luminaria Ceremony.  This is one of those cool things that you have to experience to really get it.  The lights are turned down and luminarias are lit all around the track, it is a solemn, heart filling ceremony, your chance to Remember those we have lost to cancer.

Luminarias

I also enjoy creating luminarias, that’s how I spent a few hours this afternoon, Remembering those who I’ve lost and Celebrating those that are still fighting.

Two weekends ago, we held our Grand National event for W.E. Rock, our drivers and teams were treated to an awards dinner and they responded by contributing $835 to our Relay for Life fundraiser.  On Saturday night this week, we will hold another fundraiser for Relay at our Dirt Riot Nationals – I bet my teams will respond as well there.

I already have my Relay page set up for fundraising, so, if you are so inclined, go on to the American Cancer Society secure donation site here and donate in the name of someone important to you that has had cancer, help us to find the cure.