Relay for Life Held to Celebrate Cancer Awareness

The Southern California Chinese Relay for Life event took place to raise money for cancer awareness, targeted at the Chinese community.

Written by AMY FAN / Published April 22, 2011

The second annual Chinese Southern California Relay for Life was held at Live Oak Park in Temple City at 10AM on April 16th, to raise money and awareness for cancer research while supporting survivors.

The Chinese Southern California Relay for Life, a section of the original Relay for Life event, was created to reach out to a larger Chinese community. It was sponsored by the American Cancer Society club at Temple City High School, and lasted 24 hours.

The event was divided into three parts following its mantra: Celebrate, Fight Back, and Remember. Teams and supporters were encouraged to walk around the Oak Park field to raise money, while a special survivor walk was designated for cancer survivors.

A luminary ceremony, known as “Luminaria”, was hosted with candles and paper bags to remember those lost to cancer and those currently fighting it. Finally, attendees were encouraged to make healthy decisions of their own to prevent cancer.

The event raised $22,000, with twice the amount of teams as the year before.

“We definitely had a bigger group this year,” said the Event Publicity Chair, Alyssa Hu. “We actually had 30 teams from Temple City High School and other high schools, so there were a lot of participants.”

Volunteers who helped out at the event came from high schools around Southern California, and also included official American Cancer Society members.

Groups and organizations such as City Council and the Chamber of Commerce also had their own teams and campsites.

Participants who camped out on the grass, donated, and walked to raise money expressed positive thoughts about the program.

“A lot of the youth like this because it’s fun to hang out with their friends,” said Oak Avenue teacher John Howard. “But they realize that they’re not just hanging out with their friends — they’re making a difference.”

During the event, food was given out from sponsors, and booths were held by organizations such as the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation.

For entertainment, special performances, testimonies, and speeches were given at various times, including small dance groups, martial arts performances, and Taiko drum players.

Special guest appearances included Mike Ng, an assemblyman of California, and Liz Pha, a previous American Idol contestants. The performances continued until 12AM, and finished in the morning with a closing ceremony and a final lap.

According to Senior Stephanie Tran, the positive effect of the event extended beyond the amount of money raised, to personal awareness as well.

“By educating the public by raising funds for research, we’re also opening people’s eyes to smaller but just as important aspects of cancer,” she said. “Such as prevention or leading a healthier lifestyle.”

Donations can still be accepted on the Relay for Life website or to the American Cancer Society club on Temple City High School.

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