In the Woodland Raley’s community meeting room, a small group of volunteers are trying to wrap up last minute tasks for this weekend’s Relay For Life, being held at the Yolo County Fair Grounds. The Woodland Relay For Life’s goals are large and the coordination for this event is complicated. But the group’s perspective is focused, all having been affected by cancer in different ways. Several volunteers are survivors, some are volunteering in support of a survivor while others have lost a loved one (or more). Their work is both rewarding and heartbreaking, but all issues with the coordination of this annual event pales in comparison to the mission of their work;
Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back. The American Cancer Society Relay For Life event is a life-changing experience that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to Celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, Remember loved ones lost, and Fight Back against the disease. – American Cancer Society
The Relay For Life volunteers work tirelessly to bring this event to Woodland. They’ve raised over $56k, have over 400 participants and 38 relay teams. While these numbers are important to the success of the relay, it’s the stories of the people who are most affected by cancer that make it real and purposeful. Two Woodland Relay For Life chapter volunteers, Dawn Todorovic and Amy Martin, were kind enough to share their thoughts on what this events means to them. Keep Dawn, Amy and all who attend this event in your thoughts, I’m sure it will be comforting to them while they Celebrate, Remember, and Fight Back.
Name: Dawn Todorovic
What the Relay For Life means to me…
Steve Paschke was my dad. He was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer May 23, 2006. He died August 11, 2006 at the age of 54. I was not even remotely prepared to lose my dad at 34.
Prior to his death, I had never heard of Relay for Life. We had a baby shower for my cousin a couple of weeks before the 2006 Relay for Life, not long after we lost my dad, and one of my family members who was familiar with Relay for Life suggested we should do a team and walk in his memory. We all dove in and created a team, Paschke Electric and pulled together and spent the day (and night!) together. We are looking forward to coming together as a family again this year!
Participating in Relay gives me a positive outlet for the anger and hopelessness that I feel about cancer. In raising money for the American Cancer Society through Relay for Life and sharing information about ACS with friends and acquaintances, I feel like, even though I’m just one person I CAN make a difference. My kids lost their grandpa when they were 8 and 5, and if I think too hard about it, it breaks my heart. I Relay because I miss my dad. I Relay so that my kids can live without the specter of cancer hanging over their heads.
What the Relay For Life means to me…
That if we continue to fight back together, as a community, that one day will come when no one else will have to lose their mom to cancer.
|9 AM||GATES CLOSE|
|10 AM||BUBBLE/SURVIVOR||OPENING CEREMONIES|
|11 AM||BAND:11:30 Roadhouse 5|
|12 PM||CAREGIVER||PICTURE SCAVENGER HUNT||BAND: Roadhouse 5|
|1 PM||ROCK STAR HAIR||JAVELIN THROW||BAND: Roadhouse 5 to 1:30|
|2 PM||DENIM||BAND: Hay Maker|
|3 PM||WATER BALLOON & SPOON RACE||GIANT TWISTER||BAND: Hay Maker|
|4 PM||TRICK OR TREAT/COSTUME||DECORATE O’PUMPKIN||FIGHT BACK 4:30|
|5 PM||MR RELAY|
|6 PM||SCRABBLE||DINNER||HAIR DONATIONS
|7 PM||LIMBO||BAND: F.O.G.|
|9 PM||GLOW STICK (after Luminaria)||LUMINARIA|
|10 PM||TRIVIAL PURSUIT||ZUMBA|
|11 PM||BACKWARDS & INSIDEOUT|
|12 AM||ROBE/SLIPPERS||TC CUPCAKES & MOCKTAILS||MIDNIGHT MOVIE: Goonies|
|2 AM||4 OF A KIND||MOVIE: Ghostbusters|
|3 AM||UGLY XMAS SWEATER||Ghostbusters|
|4 AM||MOVIE: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off|
|5 AM||WORK/OUT WEAR||Ferris Bueller’s Day Off|
|6 AM||BED HEAD|
|7 AM||CLEAN-UP CREW||BREAKFAST|
|9 AM||CLOSING LAP||