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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Around Town: Relay for Life

The Annual Relay For Life fundraiser at Wyoming High School football stadium is a signature event for the American Cancer Society. Just as importantly, it is a deeply meaningful event for many Wyoming students and families who are struggling with cancer. 

On May 18-19, Wyoming High School students, chaperones, and families walked all night long in their “relay” to raise awareness, compassion, and money for the American Cancer Society. Every year, there is a poignant moment in the evening, called the Luminaria Ceremony, where cancer survivors and caretakers speak to the students and families in attendance before walking around the track together – a track which is illuminated only by white paper luminaries decorated with the names of cancer survivors and victims. This year’s Luminaria guest speakers were Susan Osha and Bob Barrett. Their speeches resonated with the crowds of students and families as everyone listened to their first-hand accounts of the fear, the pain, and the new perspectives on life that cancer brings to families. Relay For Life deeply affected many in attendance who lost loved ones to cancer. But the joyful flip side to the mourning was being present to find Wyoming students connecting with one another by experiencing the joy and pain and suffering that their classmates have endured. We should all be proud of raising a community of thoughtful, connected youth – as they have the power to change all our tomorrows.     

These Wyoming High School students were all members of the Relay For Life Executive Committee who planned the successful event. 

Shelby, Katerina, Brooke, Aleeza, and Audrey enjoyed their first Relay For Life as high school students (younger students were welcomed and encouraged to attend, but only high school students participated as a part of a team).  

The first lap walked of the event was only for cancer survivors as spectators cheered from the infield.

The second lap of the event was reserved for “caretakers and survivors”. Here the Osha family walked with Susan, who learned of her diagnosis and beat the breast cancer all since the Relay event only one year ago. Congratulations to the entire Osha family!  

Wyoming families were encouraged to attend the early hours of the Relay For Life as there were food booths, games, and even a bouncy house. Here Assistant Principal Martha Sacks’ twins enjoyed running through the open field. 

The third lap of the event brought a member of every “team” to walk the track with the survivors and caretakers. 

Pamela Watkins, Maria Palermo, Cyncie Meis, Martha Montgomery, Alison Momeyer, and Cara Hummel were all walking in memory of their dear friend Michelle Patel. Michelle passed away due to breast cancer on December 23, 2017. 

Student musicians took to the stage and to the stands to make music all night long. 

Every Relay For Life team had a booth to raise additional monies for the American Cancer Society. Here Claire and Shelby were hard at work selling baked goods. 

This gang of high school friends were all involved with Relay in different capacities. 

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