US RRT at Relay For Life in Gothenburg
August 2nd, 2015 dawned a beautiful day, perfect for the Lincoln County Relay for Life Event. Held in North Platte, Nebraska, USA, the Relay for Life event was set to kick off at 5:00 pm that evening. The Gothenburg RRT Team was there, ready to lend a helping hand.
The American Cancer Society Relay for Life is the world’s largest and most impactful fundraising event to end cancer. Relay events occur in over 20 countries including the United States with the purpose of honoring cancer survivors, remembering loved ones lost, and fighting back against the disease that is diagnosed in more than one million people per year in the United States alone.
During Relay for Live events, teams of people set up camp at schools, parks, or downtowns and walk or run around a track or path. Although each Relay for Life varies from the other they all have several traditions that are carried on at each event. The Survivors Lap is the first lap that occurs in which all the cancer survivors at the event walk around the course celebrating their victory.
The Luminaria Ceremony takes place after dark during which glowing tributes are lit to those who’ve lost the battle with cancer and to those who are currently fighting the battle. The Fight Back Ceremony is a very emotional moment towards the end of the event that inspires participants to take action and make a commitment to fight against cancer.
The Lincoln County Relay for Life was held on the historical cobblestone streets of downtown North Platte. Twelve RRT members arrived mid-afternoon and began helping the event coordinators hanging banners and lights, stringing luminaries along the path, and helping Relay for Life team members set up their tents and equipment.
By 4:30 pm the jobs were done and the Relay was ready to begin! Following a brief welcoming ceremony to a crowd of approximately 140, the survivors began their first lap. The Gothenburg RRT had four checkpoints set up from which they handed out cold water bottles and cheered for those walking. With temperatures reaching into the upper 80°s (around 30° Celsius) the ice cold water bottles were just what the walkers needed!
For the next six hours, Relay team members walked the track remembering those they had lost and those who were still fighting the battle. A delicious evening meal was provided free of charge to the survivors by The Espresso Shoppe.
Once dusk had fallen RRT members and other event volunteers went along the path and lit luminarias which bathed the participants in a golden glow of remembrance. Throughout the event inspiring speeches and tributes were given by event organizers and cancer survivors. They inspired others to take action and to help create a world where cancer will no longer threaten our loved ones or rob anyone of another birthday. The Lincoln County Relay for Life wrapped up the event with a very touching Fight Back Ceremony. Silence prevailed over the crowd as name after name rolled across the screen. After the ceremony there was a fresh feeling of determination to do whatever it takes to eliminate such a grave disease.
The Relay for Life event held on August 2nd helped the Lincoln County location surpass the $28,000.00 mark and put them well on their way to reaching their yearly goal of $60,000.00! This was accomplished by the amazing efforts of the 14 relay teams and several individuals.
The money that is raised by Relay for Life events goes to the American Cancer Society which is helping save more than 400 lives a day! The Gothenburg RRT considers it a great privilege to be included in the Lincoln County Relay for Life Event and to be part of such an amazing effort against the disease that affects us all!