Friday, April 13, 2012

Giving Back

One of my New Years Resolutions this year was to give back and get involved in some form of charity work.  Well that I did! Last June, only two weeks after my mother-in-law passed away from spindle cell sarcoma (a soft tissue cancer) I attended the Relay for Life Event in a local town.  I had heard of Relay for Life, but I have never attended any of their events.  In my Maryland hometown, Relay for Life was held at our high school and all I knew was that people camped out in tents all night.  Well, I was sadly mistaken at least at the event I went to.

For those of you who don’t know, Relay For Life is an overnight relay-style event where team members camp out around a track.  Members of each team take turns walking around the track for the duration of the event. Tons of food, games and activities provide entertainment and fundraising opportunities.
My boss is involved in Relay and invited my co-worker, Rian up that night.  Rian, Ci  and I, along with Rian’s cousin Chree went up and we were shocked when we couldn’t find parking anywhere near the event.  We walked a good mile to the actual event.  We could hear music blasting, people talking and as we walked up it looked like one big party.  I guarantee at least a thousand people were there, walking the track, dancing to the music, participating in scavenger hunt or just laying back relaxing at their camp site.  Seeing this many people supporting a cause that had affected my life so much recently brought tears to my eyes.   As if that wasn’t enough to bring tears to my eyes, not long after we arrived the luminaria ceremony started.

From Relay For Life’s Website:

As the sun sets at a Relay For Life event, luminaria lining the track illuminate the night and a hush falls over the event that had been filled with the sounds of celebration. Relay For Life participants, survivors and caregivers then gather together for the Luminaria Ceremony to remember loved ones lost to cancer and to honor those who have battled the disease.

As participants walk the track lined with luminara bags in reflection, a caregiver who has lost a loved one may find comfort from a fellow caregiver who has faced a similar loss. Meanwhile, a survivor gains hope and strength from others who have followed the same journey and survived. All resolve to keep fighting to save more lives so no more luminaria bear the names of those lost to the disease.

I knew then that the following year I wanted to be involved in Relay For Life.  Rian and I both committed to starting a team.  We are now the Co-Captians of a Relay For Life team.  For the past five months we have been meeting every few weeks discussing fundraising ideas with our team.  We had one successful fundraiser selling Joe Corbi’s Pizzas that just completed; we have a Dine & Donate coming up at Texas Roadhouse in Camden, Delaware on April 24th.  If you are local and would like to attend and support our team, please let me know so I can get a coupon to you.  We are also doing a Quarter Auction at the Camden Moose Lodge in Camden, Delaware on May 18th.  I am really excited about this event; we have a lot of great items we are auctioning off for a dollar or less!  Some of the items include autographed books by bestselling authors, autographed sports merchandise from local professional teams (Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia Eagles), a GORGEOUS necklace from Amrita Singh valued at $250, , gift certificates to restaurants, dinner cruises, theaters and parks in the Delaware, Maryland,  Pennsylvania and DC areas and so much more!  If you aren’t familiar with how a quarter auction works (I know I wasn’t), go to Quarter Mania Party'ssWebsite and they describe it well. 

We are selling paddles for $5 or an All In Paddle for $20 (that means you don’t have to bring any quarters and you can bid on EVERY item!).  I am really excited about this event,  I hope we get a GREAT turn out.  If you are local in Delaware or Maryland and want to attend, please let me know!  Also, if you have a business and would like to donate an item or gift certificate we are still taking donations and they are tax deductable.  I will give you a letter with all of our Tax-ID information.  

I think cancer has touched all of us in one way or another.  I know personally I have lost my grandmother, my childhood friend (at the age of 16) and my mother in law to cancer.   My cousin’s amazing daughter battled and won the fight with leukemia at the age of 3! My husband lost both grandmothers and his mom to cancer.  Within our little family, five people have lost their lives to this horrible disease. I am hoping by doing my little part with Relay For Life I can help make a difference. 
I am debating on putting a link on my blog so you could donate to our team, but since this blog is public I don’t want to put my personal information (along with my team members) out there.  If you would like to donate to our team, please let me know and I will get the link to you.  Every little donation helps, whether it’s $5 or $25!

1 comment:

Jill said...

My community has been holding Relay for Life events for the past 5 years or so, and I had never been involved, but always wanted to go some year. This is my year! I have joined a team that my aunt & cousin are on. After losing my dad to cancer in February, the cause has become so much more important to me. Looking forward to my first Relay for Life, wishing you all the luck in yours! :)