Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Celebrate, Remember, & Fight Back

Every Candle Has a Name
We're like sailors in the night
Being guided by a light,
Just a beacon on the shore,
Giving home and strength and more.

Walking through this sea of lights
I sense unity and might,
The power of passion in this place,
Every memory has a face.

These are loved ones we have known;
Some still here but some are gone.
in this time, in our way,
As the footsteps melt away.

We see love in every flame,
Like a never-ending chain,
And we know,
That every candle has a name.

There's a name,
Of the ones who still are here,
There's a name,
Of those gone we still hold dear,
There's a name,
Each one shining in the flames,
And we know,
That every candle has a name.

~Jack Storey

This was a part of an emotional weekend full of smiles, tears, learning, and laughing. In September I took a trip to Dallas, TX for Relay Summit. Several of us went from the area, including my chair person for this next year of Relay for Life.

The weekend focused on training the chairs & co-chairs of Relay for Life--giving us new ideas, encouragement, a reason to celebrate, remember, & fight back. We participated in the General Sessions which were the ceremonies of Relay (Celebrate, Remember, & Fightback). This poem was part of the remembrance ceremony. It was on a Luminary bag. Everyone had one and we lit them in remembrance of someone who has gone before us or who is currently fighting the battle of cancer. During the weekend we also heard stories from both survivors and caregivers(who had lost a loved one to cancer). This experience helped bring a deeper meaning of reality to what can be achieved by a 12 hour event held 1 time a year! Although, the battle against cancer can not be fought in just a 12 hour period of time. It is a constant battle in hopes of one day winning the battle over cancer!

One of the ways the American Cancer Society raises awareness of cancer and the issues surrounding cancer is ACS CAN. I know I have spoken of this before, but I wanted to give you some updates on the bus that is traveling around the country. The bus is following the presidential candidates around in order to get cancer issues at the forefront of the debates and election! If you live in the Kansas area the buses are making some stops, and actually have already been to a few places in the last few weeks. Here are the dates for the upcoming stops:

Wichita - Rhatigan Student Center Courtyard at Wichita State University; Tuesday, October 14 at 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Program starting at 8:45 AM

Topeka - Kansas State Capitol, 300 SW 10th Avenue (South side of building); Wednesday, October 15 at 2:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Program starting at 4:30 PM

Lawrence - University of Kansas Soccer Fields (Corner of College and Iowa); Thursday, October 16 at 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Program starting at 10:15 AM

These events will be held in rain or shine! Anyone is welcome to go to these events. The Fight Back Express will allow everyone attending to:
- Sign the bus
- Send a message to your Member of Congress on the importance of access to quality care
- Sign a petition for the two major presidential candidates to make cancer a national priority
- And more!

I hope to be at the Wichita event! Maybe I will see you there!

Another exciting time from my weekend in Dallas was the awards ceremony. I am excited to announce (drum roll please.........) that Saline County for the 2nd year in a row won the Per Capita Award for our population bucket. Saline county raised a total of $172,358 (3.39 per person)!

Once again, thank you to everyone that supported me in the 2008 Relay for Life. I look forward to what we can achieve at the 2009 Relay for Life!

Everyone for our area that was at Summit!

Saline County Relay for Life Community & Youth Chair & Co-Chairs

Jill & Andrea after winning the award!

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