OAKHURST – Wanted! Team Captains, committee members, sponsors and survivors for Relay For Life 2015. The date is set for Saturday, May 16 starting at 9 a.m., and the event will be held again at Yosemite High School. The theme voted on this year by the local Committee is “Give Cancer the Boot!”
As anyone who’s been there will tell you, Eastern Madera County Relay for Life (EMC Relay) is exceptionally special in many ways, including the amount of money raised each year and the spirit with which the big event is annually undertaken.
At EMC Relay, teams of people camp out overnight and take turns walking, skipping, dancing and running the track. Surrounding the track are informational booths, supporters, tents, tables, music, food and friends.
It’s a family-friendly, fun festival atmosphere that opens and closes with great ceremony. Anyone can participate in Relay For Life, whether friends, relatives, neighbors, classmates, co-workers, congregations, service organizations, sports teams or you-name-it.
As dusk settles over the foothills the night of the 24-hour event, the mood changes from upbeat to thoughtful, as luminaria are lit in memory of those who’ve lost their struggle with cancer, and others walk the track reflectively. Then, the fun begins anew.
11 teams with a total of 18 people have already registered for the challenge and raised over $1000 with a long way to go, and organizers are eagerly awaiting more to follow.
The sooner you can get a team registered, the more time you have for fundraising and planning. Registration is now open at the EMC Relay website, and organizational meetings have already taken place. It’s not too late to join in.
The fundraising season kicked off this year with organizers celebrating a big win in typical Relay-style: purple grape-apple cider was passed around in champagne glasses as they toasted the fact that EMC Relay has reached an unexpected pinnacle with a huge honor attached.
Last July at a national convention, EMC Relay was named as one of the top producers and given the Purple Pacer Award by the American Cancer Society (ACS). EMC Relay was determined to have elite status as one in only ten sites from Bakersfield to Oregon to have exceeded their set fundraising goals. In fact, the teams had exceeded the goal before the actual event even started last May, due to all the work they put in early on. Congratulations are in order!
Relay Chairperson Tami Michel says this year the goal for EMC Relay by ACS is $68,000 — a huge amount by any standard, and especially for a rural area. Tami wants to “blow past that number,” and says this is the year to do it.
Save the date: Tami confirms EMC Relay that ACS reps will be in Oakhurst to hold a workshop for committee members and those who want to be in on the planning end of Relay. The workshop will be held at the Oakhurst Medical Center on Thursday, Jan. 29 at 5:30 p.m. A pizza dinner is promised to those who attend.
Team Captain meetings will be held the second Monday of each month, also at the Oakhurst Medical Center, from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Organizers encourage you to come kick it with the cool kids and help give cancer the boot!
If you are interested in forming a team, volunteering for the day of the event, being on the event planning committee, donating funds or in-kind services or products, or advertising your business card in the event program, contact organizers via their website.