Thursday, June 02, 2011
Relay for Life – An Inspirational Night
Note: I participated in this Relay for Life in June last year but I am woefully behind in blogging. Thankfully the Relay for Life comes around every year and hopefully this post will inspire you to join a local relay near you.
When I first heard that my company was sponsoring a Relay for Life team for the American Cancer Society, I jumped at the chance to participate. The Relay for Life is a fundraising event that lasts 18 hours from 6 p.m. in the evening till noon the next day. If there’s two things I’m good at, it’s walking and being up in the middle of the night. I choose to be present for the midnight to 6 a.m. shift, but I arrived early to see the luminary lap which started at 9 p.m.
The main reason I chose to raise money for the American Cancer Society was because my father passed away from brain cancer at the age of 69. I purchased a luminary bag in his honor and the kids decorated it. When I arrived at the relay around 9:30 p.m., the lighted bags were already set up around the track. Seeing the hundreds of luminary bags set up along the track was an awe-inspiring sight.
Each candle is held in place by sand inside the bags.
My walking shifts were from 3 to 5 a.m., so I passed the time walking a lap here and there and playing Scrabble and cribbage with my co-workers (BTW, stoge is a slang of cigarette, similar to stogie, which I verified on my iPhone - win!). From around 1:30 to 2:30 a.m., I retreated to my car and took a nap in the back of my wagon.
The 3 to 4 a.m. lap had a "Toga" theme, so I draped a sheet around myself for the hour. It kept falling down until I finally got the right set of knots together. I am now a toga expert!
3:14 a.m. darkness + iPhone photo = blurry Angela.
The 4 to 5 a.m. lap had an "Oldies" theme, so I dressed in tie-dye shirts with my fellow hippy co-worker.
4:14 a.m. in tie-dye shirts with minimal sleep = looking totally stoned.
Here's a more presentable shot of us. The 4 to 5 a.m. hour definitely had the least amount of walkers. It started after most people succumbed to sleepiness after staying up all night. I felt invigorated to be part of the hard core insomniacs taking every step with purpose. On one lap, I noticed a tent with Cure with Hope tie-dye shirts, but they were only offering them for sale on the Internet. So with my trusty iPhone, I actually purchased a shirt within one lap of obtaining the URL. Sleepless geek purchases tie-dye shirt while walking at 4:45 a.m.! My co-worker was impressed.
Night is almost over taken by fellow relayer, tuberat.
The most amazing part of the night was sunrise. We started seeing the sky lighten up around 4:30 a.m. With my iPhone, we learned the differences and times of the civil, nautical and astronomical twilight before sunrise.
Sunrise, taken at 5:03 AM.
Holy smokes, it was a gorgeous sunrise! By this time, everyone else was waking up from the light. I finally headed home around 6 a.m. after the morning crew showed up.
In total our company raised around $1900 for the American Cancer Society. It was a great cause, and an inspirational night to remember.