Thursday, June 7, 2012

Relay 2012

It has been a hectic few weeks lately with the end of school.  I am now the proud mother of a first and seventh grader.  On top of all of the end of school activities, we had our local Relay For Life over the weekend. 

I have been involved in this cause for the past two years on the committee, and this year I scaled it back and was a co-captain with Ryan's teacher.  She is hitting her 10 year anniversary of being a breast cancer survivor.  As a cautionary tale, she was 34 when she noticed something on a self exam.  She had no history of breast cancer in her family and had been to the doctor two months earlier.  This is a true case of if it could happen to her, it can happen to anyone.  We need to be our own first line of defense against this disease. 

This year our team was mostly made up of people from our elementary school.  These kids managed to raise $3600 by bringing in spare change and having bake sales.  I was teasing Jeanette saying that we should have named our team "Nickel and Diming our Way to a Cure."  We did not have any corporate sponsors this year, so these families did it all.  I am so proud of what we did, and I was so encouraged to hear how many of these kids gave their own money to the cause.  Now is the time to be instilling the idea of service to our kids.  It has been one of my parenting goals to lead by example. 

Weather in Northeastern Ohio in June is unpredictable.  In March we had weeks of 80 degree temps, but on Saturday it was windy, oh so windy, with a high of 60.  To say it was cold would be a monumental understatement.  As a fundraiser we were selling hot dogs, chips and soda.  The problem was in cooking the hot dogs.  We had to construct a tent of sorts to keep the heat from blowing away.  It became unbearable when it started to rain.  Just when I was ready to give up, this happened:

This was the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen.  In fact, this picture does not do it justice at all.  It was as if all the people we were honoring and fighting for were giving us a collective pat on the back.  There weren't many dry eyes at the event. 

Colin was having a great time.  It was his job to make sure everyone walking around the track knew that we were selling food.  He told every person, every time, they went around the track.  He also got to participate in the Luminaria ceremony and once again moved me to tears.  I just love him so much, and he is literally growing before my eyes.  He was overjoyed when he won a basket raffle full on Cleveland Indians stuff.  I think he had about 85% of the tickets in the drawing, and he told me he would have been devastated if he would have lost.  I think the people at that tent took pity on him and he would have been the winner even if his name was not chosen, but I do believe he won fair and square. 

All in all, it was a successful weekend.  Our Relay, which is only in its 4th year, raised over $75,000 to fund cancer research.  While I think this is my last Relay for a while, I can not say enough good things about my experience with the American Cancer Society.  They have 700 volunteers to every one staff member, and around 95 cents of every dollar raised is used to fund research and programs for all types of cancer.  It has been my privilege and pleasure to participate the last three years, and I think my Uncle Joe who is my reason to Relay, would be very proud of me.