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Relay for Life and Luminaria Ceremony June 15 at Watauga High School, Survivors Celebrated June 5

By Rebecca Gitlen

June 8, 2012. The 2012 Relay for Life Survivors’ Celebration was held the evening of June 5 at Greenway Baptist Church in Boone. About 350 cancer survivors came together to celebrate their victories with good food, friends, speeches and a candlelight ceremony. 

Lisa Bottomley, a regional representative from the South Atlantic Division of the American Cancer Society and caner survivor, delivered the keynote address of the night. 

The survivor dinner was the pre-event to Watauga County’s Relay for Life at Watauga High School.

The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Watauga County will be held on June 15 and 16 at the Watauga High School football stadium. Teams wil begin setting up their sites at 2 p.m. Food, fun, games, silent auction and entertainment will begin at 5 p.m. Opening Ceremonies will be at 7 p.m. with a Survivor Lap at 7:15 p.m. Team Laps and Caregiver Recognition will also be held, and the Luminaria Ceremony will begin around dusk.

Several teams will be walking the track all night and camping on the football field. Join them in this community event to Celebrate, Remember and Fight Back against cancer.

Each luminaria candle represents a person. They are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, friends, coworkers and so much more.

As the sun sets at a Relay for Life event, luminaria lining the track illuminate the night and a hush falls over the event that had been filled with the sounds of celebration. Relay For Life participants, survivors and caregivers then gather together for the Luminaria Ceremony to remember loved ones lost to cancer and to honor those who have battled the disease. As participants walk the track lined with luminara bags in reflection, a caregiver who has lost a loved one may find comfort from a fellow caregiver who has faced a similar loss. Meanwhile, a survivor gains hope and strength from others who have followed the same journey and survived. All resolve to keep fighting to save more lives so no more luminaria bear the names of those lost to the disease.

Each person’s reasons for walking in the Relay For Life are as unique and special as the story that motivates them. This is an opportunity to not only honor cancer survivors and remember lost loved ones, but also to raise funds and awareness to help save lives. Because of continued support, Relay for Life is creating a world where cancer can’t claim another year of anyone’s life. Help create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.

For more info, contact Kathy Idol, Co-Chair, Relay For Life, 828-264-5240.