Relay for Life unites survivors and their supporters to fight against cancer.
Written by AMY FAN / Published July 2, 2010
The Southern California Chinese Relay for Life, hosted by the American Cancer Society, took place at the Temple City High School track, on Saturday, July 26, to Sunday, June 27.
Its purpose was to raise awareness of cancer prevention and support cancer research.
Relay For Life was started by a man named Gordon Klatt, who walked for 24 hours non-stop to raise money for cancer research.
His actions were followed and the organization evolved into an event that supported people affected by cancer research each year.
In tribute to that tradition, the main event was for participants to take turns walking around the track.
At 9 p.m. Saturday, the track was illuminated by candles inside paper bags that were decorated by supporters in memory of the loved ones lost to cancer, or in honor of those who survived.
The track was open for everyone, encouraging people to walk as a single unit of people who fight cancer.
Guests gathered from all around Southern California, though most were primarily from around the area.
The Southern California Chinese Relay For Life also featured stage entertainment in Chinese and English, fun activities, kids’ camp, and organized Buddhist groups advocating vegetarianism.
Special guests included State Senator Carol Liu, Temple City council members, American Idol contestant, Liz Pha, and the Miss Chinatown court.
There were also many tents set up around the grass to commemorate the twenty-four hour event. Team members were encouraged to visit booths and set up camp to stay overnight.
The supporters and volunteers at the event expressed empathy for the people touched by cancer and praised Relay For Life.
“I believe [this program] is a good support for people who have cancer and know that people care for them,” expressed a volunteer, David Sieving, “Most people don’t know about their support.” Many volunteers also included students from schools in Southern California.
“Relay for Life is one of the best organizations I’ve ever been in,” said volunteer Margaret Shi, “We have fun learning how we can prevent and fight cancer by eating fruits and vegetables and exercising daily.”
Relay for Life is the signature event of the American Cancer Society and the volunteers and committee are enthusiastic for more participants and further success next year.