VACAVILLE — Around and around they walked or ran. Some were young, others were older. All were there to raise money to destroy cancer.
More than 100 teams signed up to participate in the 24-hour Relay for Life event at the Vacaville High School track Saturday.
“So far, we have raised over $250,000,” said Donna Quintero, co-chair of the event. Quintero is a breast cancer survivor.
Starting at 9 a.m. Saturday and ending exactly 24 hours later, the intent behind the relay is to highlight the notion that “cancer does not stop for nighttime.”
According to the event program, the 24 hours symbolizes the range of emotion a cancer patient goes through after being diagnosed. During the early morning hours, the cool darkness represents treatment. Relay participants may feel tired and exhausted at this point, representing the same emotions of a cancer patient undergoing treatment. The rising sun symbolizes the end of treatment as the patient continues to fight the disease.
To stifle the monotonous laps around the track, various activities were devised. One such event was the Mr. Relay contest. Contestants dressed in various outfits, even women’s clothing, completed a lap while soliciting donations.
Patty Price and Carla Gardner were on hand selling various items to raise money for cancer research. Both represented the Unity of the Valley Spiritual Center in Vacaville.
Price is a survivor of breast cancer for the past 19 years. Her mother died from cancer at the age of 49.
“We raise money (for cancer research), so it doesn’t get my kids and grandkids,” Price said.
Gardner beat breast cancer 10 years ago. She came to her first Relay for Life event 14 years ago to support her friend’s father who was suffering from prostate cancer.
Unity of the Valley teamed up with Epiphany Episcopal Church from Vacaville to field a team.
“It is really powerful,” said Gardner. “Two churches coming together like this.”
The final lap will take place at 9 a.m. Sunday. All participants will be asked to join in to “fight back against cancer.”
Reach John Glidden at 427-6981 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/glid24.