Let’s Make a Difference in 2014—Join in the Relay for Life Kick-Off Saturday, Jan. 18 at 10:30 a.m., FP Library

  • Kay Chilano reads the inscriptions on luminaria around the track. [photo by Patric Hedlund]

    Kay Chilano reads the inscriptions on luminaria around the track. [photo by Patric Hedlund]

By June Schmidt, Mountain Communities Relay for Life

Writing this article was so important to me that it took several attempts and a week of worrying that I would never get it right. Then I remembered that you should write what you know about; write from the heart. So here goes: I know that I love my family, God, my country and the many wonderful friends I have made over the years up here on the mountain. I have drawn strength and support from all of these sources at various times. This was never truer than when I was diagnosed with cancer in 2011.

I have shared my story with many of you before through letters to The Mountain Enterprise. Since a small group of us helped establish the Relay For Life of the Mountain Communities, the American Cancer Society’s primary fundraiser, I have heard touching (and sometimes heartbreaking) stories from other cancer survivors and caregivers. I have also made many new amazing friends.

Now I want to share the joy and camaraderie this event brings to everyone who becomes involved. From seeing the determination of cancer survivors to walk that opening lap, to the emotional time of remembrance during the Luminaria Ceremony, to the final pledge to fight back during the closing ceremony, this event empowers all of us to be part of helping to eliminate cancer.

Last year at our first Relay we raised over $31,000 to help the American Cancer Society fund research, education, patient services and advocacy.

We want to make our 2014 event, slated for June 21-22 at Frazier Mountain High School, even bigger and better. Would you like to learn more about Relay For Life and how you can participate?

On January 18 we will be holding our Kickoff Celebration at the Frazier Park branch of the Kern County Library from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Community Room. We will have information about Relay For Life, American Cancer Society services, refreshments, and prizes.

Please join us and help make a difference right here at home.

This is part of the January 10, 2014 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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