Sunday, October 11, 2015

• Relay For Life 2015

After months of preparation, and many captain's meetings, the 2015 Relay for Life event was held. The location was in the picturesque setting of Canyon Hills Middle School, just off Lost Road in Lake Elsinore's back country, and the day was to be a hot one. According to the Press Enterprise it hit 97 degrees.

It started early on Saturday morning with an opening ceremony, which included a couple of inspirational speeches, including one where a long time survivor revealed that she had recently been re-diagnosed with cancer, a very sobering moment.

Next was a Survivors Breakfast hosted by Annie's Cafe.
Wildomar Mayor Ben Benoit, getting a nice suntan as he dishes up meals alongside Jan Vyse (Annie).

Once the survivors had eaten their fill, they opened it up to the rest of the participants for five dollars a plate. It's hard to beat that price for an Annie's Breakfast, and all the proceeds were donated to the event.

Then there was an opening lap that was led by the cancer survivors in attendance. They were easily distinguishable by the purple shirts they wore. The group was being videotaped by a low flying drone as it made its first circuit around the track.
The first lap is walked by cancer survivors. They were easily distinguishable by the purple shirts they wore.

The event went all through the day and into the evening which featured the Luminaria slideshow followed by a lap around the track in the dark. Lit only by white lunch sacks, that had been decorated with the names of loved ones that have battled cancer, and illuminated by glow sticks.
An example of a Luminaria.
Very moving to see images of people that have passed on during the slide show. Including those that passed this year, like honorary poster person Tom Thomas, and local long time teacher (with a past in the NBA) Dave Meyers (who'd just passed away the day before of cancer.)

Also in the slide show were those that have survived bouts of cancer, which gave the assembled crowd reason to cheer.

The event ended with a closing ceremony around 9:00am Sunday.
Closing ceremonies with the various event leaders on stage.

The participant that put the most miles on his/her tennies was Ryan Kelman of Lake Elsinore. He walked a total of 32.2 miles over the 24 hour event. Not counting sleep time and other breaks, that's an average of about 5.3 laps per hour... EVERY HOUR for 24 hours. Well done!

I got some stats from event chair Chrissy Rohlmeier, resident of The Farm.

There were a total of 15 teams that participated this year out of the 22 that signed up (down from the 30 that participated last year).

The top team was Taxing for a Cure and they raised $4120.

The total for the event was $20,355, though that number will rise as the last of the tallies are tabulated. Wildomar Walkers raised $1208. Troop 2011 (sorry, I don't know their nickname) raised $963, Donald Graham Elementary raised $200 and I couldn't decipher how much the VFW raised. Note to self, make better notes.

Kathy Bundy, Bridgette Moore, Dan York and Ben Benoit at the Wildomar Walkers booth on Saturday Morning.
This event has a heavy Wildomar footprint (Wildomar Walkers, Troop 2011, DGE and the VFW) and some of the teams were mentioning it would be a nice move to have the event relocated to Elsinore High School. Not so much for the sake of the participants, but to get more foot traffic to enhance the fund raising opportunities. Canyon Hills Middle School is in a very nice setting, but it's well off the beaten path and there simply is very little opportunity for drive by visitors.
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An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.
― Henry David Thoreau

Wildomar Rap is now available in three attractive varieties, including paisley, tartan and bold.

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