VACAVILLE — The fight to cure cancer continues Sunday with the seventh largest Relay for Life gathering in California at the Vacaville High School track.
This year’s theme is superheroes. Some participants wore costumes of their favorite superheroes, some people made their own unique hero costumes.
Team Heroes has sixteen members, all in red, superhero T-shirts and dark pants. They are remembering Vic Andersen and Derrick Shoopman, both fathers who died of brain cancer.
“They were heroes to us, so we thought superheroes would be a good theme for our team,” said Tranae Shoopman, team captain. She came all the way from Los Angeles to participate on Saturday.
Team Heroes raised more than $2,000 this year to help fight cancer.
“It is low this year. We made more last year, over $5,000. But it’s probably just that people are busy this weekend,” saud Pamela Andersen, co-team captain.
Overall, the Relay for Life event raised less than it did last year, which according to the website was $250,000.
“This year, we have raised over $189,711 to help with the research in finding a cure for cancer,” said Donna Quintero, event chairperson.
She is a six-year cancer survivor and has been doing this walk for the past five years. Her team, Pink Lemonade, has eight members.
There are 86 teams with more than 1,270 people helping to raise money to find a cure for cancer, according to the Relay for Life Vacaville website. The event also has games, entertainment and silent auctions to help keep participants motivated in the heat.
In addition to donations, many teams are raising money by selling items like pins, bracelets, necklaces and other items.
“The money raised per team goes to help with donations,” Quintero said.
Because cancer never sleeps, the event is 24-hours long. Teams camp overnight on the football field as team members take turns walking or running the track. The event starts in the morning with the Survivors Lap, where survivors walk to celebrate their victory over cancer. The next one is the Caregivers Lap. In the evening, the Luminaria Ceremony is observed for those that lost their fight against cancer. Finally, the Fight Back Lap concludes the event with a pledge of action to spread the word on the fight against cancer, according to the website.
“This honors the memory of everyone,” Shoopman said.
Reach Susan Hiland at 427-6981 or firstname.lastname@example.org.