OUR VIEW: Ready, set, RelayWho’s ready to Relay? By the sound of it, thousands of you.
Who’s ready to Relay?
By the sound of it, thousands of you. On Friday night, south Washington County residents – and folks from around the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin – will descend on East Ridge High School’s Raptor’s Nest for this year’s Relay For Life event.
If you’ve never attended, brace yourself for the fact that it’s a big deal.
How big? Last year the south Washington County event led all Relay events in Minnesota. And this year organizers aim to top those fundraising numbers.
Returning Relayers can also expect to find new sights and sounds. This year attendees will have even more activities to choose from during the program, which Relay Co-Chairperson Mara Mayberry aptly describes as “more of an experience than an event.”
Many of the activities will be aimed at youth participants, and with just cause. As is explained in the story included in this edition’s supplemental Relay For Life pages, youth participation has swelled. Youth Relay teams this year account for about half of all teams registered.
Many young people have been drawn to the cause after the death of East Ridge student Ann Haering, whose struggle with cancer touched students in ways they likely never expected. Mary LaPrairie, chairwoman of the Relay For Life of South Washington County’s Luminaria Committee, explains it all too well: “Ann Haering’s death made cancer very real,” she said.
Those young first-timers are sure to find Relay to be the uplifting event that draws back so many participants year after year. Relay deftly blends upbeat positivity with solemn reflection. There are laughs, tears, stories upon stories and – always – lots to eat.
Many Relayers are survivors. Others are there in memory of a lost loved one. Many simply attend the event as tireless soldiers in the war against cancer.
Why Relay? Because you’re part of something huge. Hopefully before long, the crushing weight that Relayers bring to bear on the fight will reach critical mass and topple cancer once and for all.