Last year, the Nisqually Valley News chose, as its annual effort for charitable giving, to fully support a team for the Southeast Thurston County Relay for Life fundraiser.
It seems like that decision was eons ago. We hosted a movie showing at Longmire Community Park, served breakfast at Mariachi Alegre (thanks to the restaurant owners for hosting our fundraiser), sold all sorts of trinkets and hosted many other ways to raise money.
It was all in the effort to raise as much money as possible to help find a cure for cancer through the American Cancer Society, and in the meantime, help support both those afflicted with the disease and their friends and family.
We were proud to be named the top rookie team last year.
In all, the Relay for Life, held at the track and field in Rainier (deep thanks to the Rainier School District administration that allows us to take over their field for 24 hours), raised $43,554, which blasted the goal of $35,000 and set an all-time record.
Since then we have been meeting regularly, as have about another 30 teams from the area, planning for the big relay rally and of course raising money.
This year the American Cancer Society Southeast Thurston County Relay for Life will be from noon to noon, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 1-2 at the Rainier track. Highlights are survivor registration noon to 2 p.m. Saturday with the opening ceremony/survivor lap at 3 p.m; the luminaria ceremony at 10 p.m. Saturday; and the closing ceremony at 11:45 a.m. Sunday.
If you have never attended a Relay for Life event, consider either the opening ceremony or the luminaria ceremony. They are both touching, and a profound reminder of just how pervasive cancer is. Most people, if not all, can make the tragic claim that they have been touched by cancer, either personally or by knowing someone who has suffered from the disease.
According to the American Cancer Society, in 2015, there will be 1,658,370 new cancer cases diagnosed, with 589,430 cancer deaths, just in the United States.
We urge all to consider joining us in this fight against cancer. If so, you will be part of an army of 2.5 million people and about 6,000 individual Relay for Life events across the nation.