Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
The Fernley Relay for Life committee is nearing its goal of raising $65,000 for the American Cancer Society through this year’s event.
According to accounting chair Tami Weber, at the start of this year’s Relay on July 8, teams had already raised $53,466.77. At the event, which ran from 9 a.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday, teams raised a total of $10,849.75 for a grand total of $64,316.52 so far.
“Also, we have until August 31 to make our goal, the Relay year is Sept 1 to Aug 31,” said committee chairman Marla Nichols. “So I am confident we are going to get there.”
Teams held a variety of fundraisers before the event, and had boots set up to see crafts, jewelry, food and other items throughout the event.
The highlight of the Relay was the annual Luminaria Ceremony, a memorial to honor those who have been lost to cancer and those who have survived.
Cancer survivor January L’Angelle was the keynote speaker for the Remember Ceremony, describing her journey from diagnosis of breast cancer, through four surgical procedures and chemotherapy.
“Every person is different and every fight is different, but one thing is the same for all of us,” L’Angelle said. “We have to flip the switch on cancer, form ‘No I can’t, to yes I can.’”
L’Angelle said she is thankful for her cancer, because she sees herself as a proxy for her family.
“My loved ones are so important to me, in particular my son,” she said. “If my son ever got cancer I would want to take it from him if I could. I propose to you, that’s been done for me. I’m glad it’s me who got it, and not my son.”
After L’Angelle spoke, 12 luminarias were lit, commemorating each month of the year, then the crowd watched a video presentation with names and pictures of those who have survived and those who have been lost to cancer.
Following the ceremony, the participants walked en masse around the course, which was lined with luminarias on both sides.
“I’s so thankful to all who came out and endured the heat,” Nichols said. “We had a good turnout considering that it was over 100 degrees on Saturday. The crowd did not seem as big throughout Saturday but the crowd at Closing Ceremonies on Sunday seemed larger than before.”