Dekalb - Adams Relay for Life

This past Friday, my husband Mike and I had the privilege of taking part in our second Relay for Life event in just over a month.  Our first event was at Emory University and this event was at Adams Stadium in northern Decatur, with both events benefitting the American Cancer Society.

Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back.

The event itself started at 7pm, kicking off with a Welcome Ceremony and a Survivor Lap.  Unfortunately, because Mike got out of work late, we got to the site a bit late, a situation that was only compounded by lack of parking.  Despite the fact that there were storms and rain in the forecast that night, there was a huge turnout for the Relay, I think even more than was expected, given the parking situation.  Regardless, we were late and missed the Welcome Ceremony and Survivor Lap.

While we missed the Survivor Lap, we did arrive in time to catch the end of the Team Lap.  It was great to see all of the different groups represented on the track, especially all of the school groups.

The Autotrader (L) and Montgomery Elementary School (R) teams during the Team Lap

Following the Team Lap, everyone settled in for a long night of walking and celebration.  Compared to the relatively small and quiet event at Emory, this event was a walking party.  There were so many people there!  The track was absolutely packed while we there, with everyone rocking out as the DJ played some great tunes.  It was such a different atmosphere than our previous Relay for Life experience at Emory!

The track was totally packed with Relayers!

Because there were so many teams and because the individual teams were so large, there was a lot more activity going on around the Relay during the event.  There were a number of huge tents, many of which were hosting their own onsite fundraising events.  There was face painting, bake sales, raffles and all kinds of goodies for sale.  The was also a jump house, a wall climb, a kickball tournament and a whole host of events that served to keep everyone entertained and to help raise money for the American Cancer Society.  We even saw a live Bingo tournament!  It really was like being a part of a really large festival centered around raising money for a great cause.

So many tents, so much to do!

Of course, my very favorite feature of any Relay for Life event is seeing all of the luminaria.  I love being able to read all of the names and messages surrounding the track.  Seeing all of those individuals candles is always very moving for me.  As the American Cancer Society says, every candle has a name.  Thinking about all of the those families that have been affected by cancer in some way is just incredibly humbling.  It's such a powerful reminder of why we're all out there doing what we're doing to make a difference.

The luminaria that I dedicated to my Mom (L) and Marcia (R).

The luminaria spelling out "HOPE" on the stands over the track.

Unfortunately, just as we finally found the luminaria for Marcia, a series of thunderstorms began to roll into the area.  Had it been just rain and had we not already taken part in the Emory Relay for Life event this spring, we probably would have stuck it out in order to stay around for the lighting of the luminaria.  However, these were some serious thunderstorms and we really didn't want to risk getting struck by lightening.  In the end, we cut our night short after walking just over a mile around the track (far short of my goal of 13 miles!).  I was disappointed, but it's okay.  We got to experience a completely different Relay for Life event for a few hours which was great.  Next year, we'll definitely stick around a bit longer!

What the Relay for Life is all about: people of all ages and backgrounds 
coming together in the fight against cancer.

If you would like to make a donation to the American Cancer Society, you can do so via my personal fundraising page on the Relay for Life website.  If you would like to see more pictures from this event, please see this album on my Picasa page.  I have also added a slide show from this event after the jump which you can view by clicking "Read More" at the bottom of this post.

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