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People of Woodland: Relay For Life

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.

*****

Steve P.

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.

There is an awareness campaign that I have heard of that says we are all just “One Degree” away from cancer. That to me is just such an understatement. My dad died from cancer. So did my Grandma Drake, two of her sisters and one of her nieces, my Grandpa Drake, my friend Paulene, my friend Angela, my friend Londi, my friend’s husband Greg, my aunt Joann. My Grandma Krug had cancer before she died, my Aunt had throat cancer, 5 friends have had skin cancer, 3 have had breast cancer (one of those friends also had cervical cancer)…That list was just off the top of my head sitting in my living room in a few minutes. I am sure if I sat down over the course of a few days my list would be much, much longer. Participating in Relay is just my way of doing my part to finish this fight!
2006 was the beginning of my Relay journey. I have not missed a year since. Even in years where we didn’t have a family team, my sons and I spent a few hours at the Relay. This is my third year as a member of the Event Leadership team, and I am truly in awe of the time that my Event Leadership teammates put in to making sure that Relay for Life is a fun successful event. We always look forward to seeing friends old and new on the track!

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Name: Amy Martin
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.

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Learn more about the Woodland Relay For Life here.   Please share your own story with us; you can comment on this post or visit the Relay For Life facebook page.

All photos provided by the Woodland Relay For Life.

2015 Relay For Life of Woodland Entertainment Schedule.

TIME

THEME LAPS

ACTIVITY

STAGE

6 AM
6:30 GATES OPEN
7 AM
8 AM
8:30 SURVIVOR BREAKFAST
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

BAND: F.O.G.

7 PM LIMBO BAND: F.O.G.
8 PM PJ’S
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
1 AM 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
8 AM
9 AM CLOSING LAP

CLOSING /TOTALS

[…] of Woodland – Matt Rexroad, Kristina Fong, Relay for Life, and Angie […]

What a great article! Thank you for taking the time to tell others about the Relay For Life!

Thank you Kelly. I really appreciate you sharing our event with the community. I hope to see you all Sat Oct 3rd.

Please come out to the Fairgrounds anytime between 10am Saturday through 10am Sunday! Help us finish this fight Woodland!

Thank you Kelly for spending time with us during all of the last minute chaos! Keep doing what you’re doing for Woodland!

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