A little delayed, but here is the Relay for Life Wrap up.
It was a long, but satifying night. It was very rewarding and I plan to do it again. Here’s how the day went.
Friday Night, 10pm: I had gotten off work a little early and come home to work on some final projects for the relay. I still had to finish wiring our fund raising game for the event. There were still some things to get together. I had put all the supplies in one place in the garage, Danielle had done some shopping for the needed supplies, water, new chairs, sun screen, etc. She was also finishing up some knitting for the event. I had to finish wiring the wire loop game we planned to raise some money with. It needed a relay to latch on when somebody touched the wire with the loop. The house alarm we used to alert you that you didn’t make it was going off in the garage several times in the middle of the night.
We were finally done by 2 in the morning.
I had to get up by 7am to irrigate, shower and load the car so we could be there by 10am to pitch our tent. The event officially started at 11am, the survivor walk was at 11:30. Danielle and I go there right on time. We had not been at the high school before and didn’t know about the stairs we needed to walk down to get to the field. We had a bunch of stuff and no cart to move anything. Luckily there were volunteers from the National Honor Society there to help us move our gear to camp site #6.
The tent was new so we had no idea how to pitch it. It took us about a half hour to get it up. During that time Danielle’s parents showed up and gave us a hand with it. We are really happy with our new tent and plan to use it for actual camping some time in the future. Danielle also go the chairs set up and I set up the game.
Eleven rolled around and they started calling people to the stage for the opening ceremony. I walked over there and listened to speeches, saw Bob Beers who was a Nevada State Senator up until 2008, currently he is on the Las Vegas City Council.
We lined up for the Survivor lap as my wife and her mom lined up for the caregiver lap. We headed off in opposite directions and met at the far side of the track where the caregivers turned around and walked with the survivors for the rest of their lap.
At the end of the lap the survivors were led to the survivor tent and given lunch. People chatted as a young violinist played her violin. Others remained on the track and continued the relay.
By this time we had already discussed the need to have a canopy in front of our tent to shade the chairs where we would be spending the better part of the day. During the lunch, Danielle and Diane went out to take care of the dogs, buy ice and the canopy that we were in dire need of.
Once we sere done with lunch, Dana and I walked around the track for a little bit. Danielle and Diane returned with the ice and canopy and we went right to work pitching it. It was up in no time and we were relaxing in our new found shade.
People would come by over the course of the day and try our game. We had an early winner. He won one of Danielle’s water bottle cozies that she knitted for the event. The game didn’t make a ton of money, but a lot of people stopped by curious at to what it was. It has encouraged me to build a second game for next year and start having a collection of midway games for people to donate money to play. We were complimented several times on the uniqueness of our fundraising effort.
It was a very festive atmosphere for most of the day. The center of the field was fairly empty so people were playing Frisbee and catch. A couple of people brought their kites out. The wind was perfect for kite flying that day.
We would go out for a few more laps while the sun was out. We knew that we would be more active late at night during our normal schedule and it was HOT! Over the course of the day there were different themed laps. The organizers were handing out personal fans that had the schedule of events printed on them. Danielle and Diane handed in the money for the Luminaria and took some time in the survivor tent to decorate and dedicate them. We then lined up our Luminaria in front of our camp site.
Late afternoon our friend Julie showed up. She had just gotten back into town that day and wanted to come down. We walked the track together. She came across some friends that she had relayed with in the past with. I met them briefly and we continued on our trek. She would meet up with them later while we were eating dinner to catch up.
Later that night Julie’s husband Rob, who I work with showed up after work. He got there shortly before the lighting of the luminaria. We walked the track together. Then at 11pm, the lights turned off and a hush came over the field. People quietly walked around the track as others sat in front of luminaria while still others prayed over each bag. It was very powerful. During this time the names of every person listed on every luminaria was read over the public address system. I walked the track with Danielle and then went up into the bleachers to get the whole field into my view.
I’m not sure how long the lights were off, but it seemed like a long time. Afterward the lights came back on and we went back to walking, fund raising, and talking. Sharean and Damien stopped by after work and hung out with us for a while. My friend and team member Stu also showed up. The night was winding on.
I found myself walking more during these early hours to help keep me awake. Lounging in one of the camping chairs would just make me sleepy. At around 4am I took a shot of 5 Hour Energy to keep going. Luckily the 5 Hour Energy people were going around and passing them out.
We decided to strike the tent before the sun came up so we wouldn’t have to do it in the sun. It was light out by time we started. Metro was sponsoring a pancake breakfast to whoever was interested. Danielle and I passed because of our diet.
I had racked up a little less than nine miles around the track by this time and I decided I wanted to get a full 10 miles in. So I got back on the track. There were only a few people walking at this point. I could probably count the number of walkers on one hand. Most were striking their camp sites or grabbing breakfast. I had at least five laps to do to get to 10 miles so I kept going.
Our tent was struck and all our stuff was ready for the car. I was coming up on my last lap and decided to jog it. I hadn’t run in years but I felt good enough to jog the quarter mile to the finish line. I made it around that last lap and did a cool down lap with Dana to finish my participation in the relay.
Danielle and Diane moved the cars to a location that didn’t require steps to get to and we packed up our cars. The organizers did the closing ceremony at 8am a we went home. It was an amazing event that I plan to do again next year. Don’t be surprised to see me nagging you for support in 8 to 9 months!