VERSAILLES– The words Hope and Cure adorned the hill top in Heritage Park in Versailles on Friday evening as the weather looked like it could turn bad any minute.
Below, more than 200 survivors, caregivers, friends and volunteers participated in the Darke County Relay for Life.
It was the 11th year for the event in Darke County and Chair Person Rose Schlater has been involved since the beginning. She said their goal was $57,000 this year, and according to their donation page, they’ve made $34,427.03, all in the name of finding a cure for cancer.
Their theme this year was “Be a superhero, save the world one cure at a time”.
Schlater said she is not a superhero and is fairly certain she will never be able to leap a tall building in a single bound, however if the money they raise during the event helps to find a cure or helps to prevent even one person from getting cancer, they’ve done their job.
The Versailles Honor Guard presented the colors and lead the first lap around the pond, the survivors lap. This lap is dedicated to those who fought and beat cancer.
The second lap was dedicated to the caregivers, anyone who ever cared for someone with cancer walks a lap so they can be honored for their support.
Susan Mills shared her story of being a caregiver. She explained how in just a few short months her best friend’s health deteriorated.
Other’s shared their stories throughout the night and into the next morning. Some stay up all night to celebrate, and raise awareness for the cause. Food and activities were available while team members take turns walking the track.
After the survivors and caregivers take a lap, all are welcome to walk. A luminary ceremony is held at every Relay for Life event to honor the one’s lost to the disease. The ceremony provides an opportunity for people to work through grief and find hope.
A closing ceremony was held the next morning to celebrate the commitment all the participants made and rally them to fight back against cancer over the next year.
Relay for Life events are celebrating their 30th year this year. All the funds raised go to the American Cancer Society to fund research to find a cure for all different kinds of cancer. For more information on how to get involved in a Relay for Life team next year, visit relayforlife.org.
Reach this writer at 937-538-4825; follow on Twitter @SDNAlexandraN