Monday, May 22, 2017

Relay for Life 2017

On Friday night, we held our annual Relay for Life in my hometown. This Relay was my 10th year to participate and my 4th year as a committee member! I absolutely love this event and everything it stands for! :) Throughout the evening, we celebrate our survivors, remember those who have lost their battle, and then we fight back against this terrible disease!

This year's theme was based off of a Disney theme - Wish Upon A Cure and I loved all of the details that went into the event! I had no idea of this ahead of time, but the event ended with the goodbye theme from Mickey Mouse Club ("now it's say all our company..."). Adorable.

As an added surprise, I woke up bright and early on Friday morning (3:30 a.m. as a matter of fact) with a pretty rough bout of a stomach virus. Awesome. Brayden had been sick a few days before and passed it on to me. Luckily, I was able to stay home from work that morning to rest and hopefully regain some of my energy. By 4 p.m., I was feeling slightly slightly better I mean I felt about a 3 or 4 out of 10...but I couldn't miss this event. The committee saved the Disney theme for me this year since I was on maternity leave and not super heavily involved with last year's event. I seriously couldn't miss out!

This team ALWAYS wins the campsite award as their site is always above and beyond amazing! 

Our team won second place in the t-shirt contest! Our shirts were based off the Disney castle that played before old-school Disney moves. We used four main colors as our castle blocks and each color represented the cancer sites we treat the most in our center! 

Here's a better look at our shirts and my little relayer! It's hard to believe he was SO tiny last year (just about 5 weeks old)!

Another team contest is the bake-off. Cakes are judged on appearance and taste. This Cinderella carriage won all around! Isn't it beautiful?!


After opening ceremonies, we kicked things off with our Survivor lap!

Each purple shirt represents a cancer survivor. I LOVE seeing the sea of purple shirts every year! It really validates what we do on a day in and day out basis!

After the survivor lap, caregivers joined in the walk around the track. We love what we do!

In the middle of all the festivities, one of my students from church graduated in the building right behind us. I was able to see her and take a picture with her after graduation! So proud of her!

Brayden was such a trooper and stayed for a good bit of the evening. He even tried his first bite of fried pickles...and he liked it! Relay food is pretty amazing, but I'm sad I couldn't partake in any of it due to the way I felt all day. Ugh. Next year.....I'm coming for you, Relay food!


At 9 p.m., my favorite part of the evening took place, our luminiaria ceremony. All of the lights in our circle grounds and generators were turned off. This ceremony is an incredibly reverent ceremony as we remember those who have lost the fight against cancer and honor those who are surviving.

In total, the ceremony lasts about 10 minutes but is one of the big take-aways from the entire event. 

Over 700 bags lined the track, each with a face or a name of a cancer patient. Amazing grace was played live from stage and a slide show presentation of pictures was given. This ceremony always brings tears. Always.

Fight Back

The remainder of the evening was spent playing games, fundraising, hanging out, and having a great time with friends and fellow relayers. I'm happy to say that we raised almost $130,000 total and are just a few thousand short of our goal for 2017! I'm excited to see our new theme for 2018 and what the year has in store! 

Oh yes, and my boss also talked me into going on our local news station with him during the week of relay to discuss our event! As most of you know, I'm NOT a fan of live events and they scare the daylights out of me. However, I made the decision a few years ago not to hold back, to come out of my shell a bit more, and go with the opportunities that are presented before I agreed and I'm so happy I did! It was actually a lot of fun! If you'd like to see our interview, you can check that out here! :)

Have you ever participated in a Relay for Life event? Any "theme" ideas for us for next year?


  1. I love this post and this event! Everything turned out beautiful! That cake! I love the castle! What did your team do for the tent?

    1. Thank you so much!! I appreciate it! Our team tends to not really do a whole lot as far as a "tent" site goes - we like to get out and mingle with our patients and their families. However, we were "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" this year...but we didn't do much more than utilize a few of the decorations from Brayden's first birthday party! Haha!

  2. I'm sorry to hear that you weren't feeling well, but I'm so glad that you were still able to participate. I know how bummed you would have been had you not been able to be there. And what a great theme, definitely perfect for you!

    1. Oh yes I would have been SO bummed! Thanks so much, Kathryn!

  3. Sounds like an amazing event! How fun that you got to go on TV--even though you didn't want to! Such a touching day.

    1. Yes, it was a ton of fun and the event itself was incredibly touching! <3

  4. Love the Disney theme. Sorry to hear the stomach bug got you, and not too badly that you couldn't enjoy the event.

    1. Thanks so much, Lesley! I'm glad I was able to rest up enough throughout the day that I was able to get out there despite the way I felt!

  5. What a fun theme for such a great cause. That cake looks amazing. I would have never wanted to cut into it. :) And I agree, seeing all of the purple shirt survivors has to be so heartwarming.

    1. Thanks Heather! The girl who cut into the cake had to do it with her eyes closed! HAH! I love Survivors! They are the best!!


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