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Running For More…

The personal blog and website of Kristen Cincotta

Archive for the ‘Relay for Life’ Category

Dekalb – Adams Relay for Life

Monday, May 17th, 2010

This past Friday, my husband Mike and I had the privilege of taking part in our second Relay for Life event in just over a month.  Our first event was at Emory University and this event was at Adams Stadium in northern Decatur, with both events benefiting the American Cancer Society.

Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back.

The event itself started at 7pm, kicking off with a Welcome Ceremony and a Survivor Lap.  Unfortunately, because Mike got out of work late, we got to the site a bit late, a situation that was only compounded by lack of parking.  Despite the fact that there were storms and rain in the forecast that night, there was a huge turnout for the Relay, I think even more than was expected, given the parking situation.  Regardless, we were late and missed the Welcome Ceremony and Survivor Lap.

While we missed the Survivor Lap, we did arrive in time to catch the end of the Team Lap.  It was great to see all of the different groups represented on the track, especially all of the school groups.


The Autotrader (L) and Montgomery Elementary School (R) teams during the Team Lap

Following the Team Lap, everyone settled in for a long night of walking and celebration.  Compared to the relatively small and quiet event at Emory, this event was a walking party.  There were so many people there!  The track was absolutely packed while we there, with everyone rocking out as the DJ played some great tunes.  It was such a different atmosphere than our previous Relay for Life experience at Emory!


The track was totally packed with Relayers!

Because there were so many teams and because the individual teams were so large, there was a lot more activity going on around the Relay during the event.  There were a number of huge tents, many of which were hosting their own onsite fundraising events.  There was face painting, bake sales, raffles and all kinds of goodies for sale.  The was also a jump house, a wall climb, a kickball tournament and a whole host of events that served to keep everyone entertained and to help raise money for the American Cancer Society.  We even saw a live Bingo tournament!  It really was like being a part of a really large festival centered around raising money for a great cause.


So many tents, so much to do!

Of course, my very favorite feature of any Relay for Life event is seeing all of the luminaria.  I love being able to read all of the names and messages surrounding the track.  Seeing all of those individuals candles is always very moving for me.  As the American Cancer Society says, every candle has a name.  Thinking about all of the those families that have been affected by cancer in some way is just incredibly humbling.  It’s such a powerful reminder of why we’re all out there doing what we’re doing to make a difference.


The luminaria that I dedicated to my Mom (L) and Marcia (R).

The luminaria spelling out “HOPE” on the stands over the track.

Unfortunately, just as we finally found the luminaria for Marcia, a series of thunderstorms began to roll into the area.  Had it been just rain and had we not already taken part in the Emory Relay for Life event this spring, we probably would have stuck it out in order to stay around for the lighting of the luminaria.  However, these were some serious thunderstorms and we really didn’t want to risk getting struck by lightening.  In the end, we cut our night short after walking just over a mile around the track (far short of my goal of 13 miles!).  I was disappointed, but it’s okay.  We got to experience a completely different Relay for Life event for a few hours which was great.  Next year, we’ll definitely stick around a bit longer!

What the Relay for Life is all about: people of all ages and backgrounds coming together in the fight against cancer.

If you would like to make a donation to the American Cancer Society, you can do so via my personal fundraising page on the Relay for Life website.  If you would like to see more pictures from this event, please see this album on my Picasa page.  I have also added a slide show from this event at the bottom of this post.

You’re Invited to the Relay for Life of Dekalb-Adams

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

This Friday, May 14th, I will be taking part in my second Relay for Life event this spring at Adams Stadium in Decatur and you should too!

As I wrote in my earlier “Relay for Life” post, the Relay for the Life is one of the primary fundraising events for the American Cancer Society.  There are more than 4,800 Relay for Life events at locations across the United States each year.  At each event, teams of people camp out at the event site and take turns circling a track or path.  Because cancer never sleeps, each team is asked to have at least one representative on the track at all times during this overnight event.

I am again registered as Team Relentless Optimism ATL for the Dekalb – Adams event this Friday night. Because my team is just me and hopefully my husband, I probably won’t be staying for the entire night. However, I am hoping to stay fairly late into the night, banging out my long training walk for the 3 Day. Most importantly, I will be there supporting the other Relayers as they attempt to last through the night. As I experienced during the Emory Relay for Life, this is a unique event that raises money for a great organization. Even if you can’t participate in the whole thing, it really is a great way to spend a Friday night.

Because I have not yet met my fundraising minimum for the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure, I will not be actively fundraising for the Relay for Life beyond what I have self donated.  I wish that I could raise money for all of these events, but I need to honor my primary and most important commitment which is to the 3 Day.

However – that doesn’t mean that you can’t support the American Cancer Society yourself by signing up for the Relay for Life with me!  Registration costs just $10 and there is no fundraising minimum to participate.  This event is open to anyone, so please think about coming out for a few hours and walking with me!  You can find links to register for my “team” on my official Dekalb-Adams Relay for Life page:

If you would like to come out and support me and the rest of the Relayers as we walk and just be a part of the community around this event, let me know.  The event starts at 7pm on Friday night at Adams Stadium in Decatur, Georgia and takes place overnight.  For more information, please see the Dekalb – Adams Relay for Life website.

Thanks and I hope to see you there!  I’ll be the one in pink!


Emory University Relay for Life

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

This past Friday, my husband Mike and I laced up our sneakers and headed over to Emory University for the Relay for Life benefitting the American Cancer Society.

Welcome to the Relay for Life!

Mike and I arrived at Relay site around 7pm on Friday, April 9th.  After checking in, we spent some time exploring the event site to get the lay of the land.

Me with the Relay for Life banner.

For each Relay event, the track is lined with Luminaria that serve as lanterns to light the way through the night.  Luminaria can be purchased in the name of survivors and as a way to honor those that have been lost to cancer.  Prior to this walk, I dedicated a special gold Luminaria in Marcia’s name and a regular white Luminaria in honor of my mom who is currently fighting cancer for the second time.  One of the first things we did upon arriving at the Relay for Life was to locate the Luminaria for Mom and Marcia.


Luminaria for Marcia and Mom

At the Emory Relay for Life, Luminaria were also used to spell out “HOPE” in the stands over the track where the event was held.

Hope for a cure!

Shortly after we arrived, the Relay for Life began.  The first lap was led by a number of survivors with the rest of the participants following behind.  We joined in the group after they passed us by and began our walk around the track.

The Survivor Lap, led by cancer survivors and the Emory Eagle!

Mike and I weren’t able to spend the entire night participating in the Relay for Life, as would normally be tradition.  However, we wanted to participate in a significant way, so we instead completed my eight mile training walk for the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure.  All together, that amounted to about 32 laps of the track and over two hours of walking, around and around and around…  Luckily, there were a lot of things to look at as we walked:


The track was surrounded by campsites (for those staying the whole night, L) and tables where groups were selling snacks to the Relayers to help raise additional money for the American Cancer Society (R)

There were also signs highlighting some of the work of the American Cancer Society.  This sign was particularly meaningful since Herceptin has been Mom’s wonder drug during her cancer treatments!

Just after sunset, a series of performers took to the stage at one end of the track to provide entertainment for all of the Relayers.  During this performance, three separate dance groups performed.


Dance groups performing at the Relay for Life.  Pardon the poor photo quality, it was pretty dark.

Finally, at around 9:30pm the lights on the track were lowered so that the only thing that we could see was the light of Luminarias all around the track.  All of the Relayers then walked a silent lap around the track to honor those that have been lost to cancer.  As it happened, this lap corresponded to the last lap of the eight miles that Mike and I walked.  As we walked that last lap, I couldn’t help but think of Marcia and how different this Friday night was then the awful night exactly one year ago when we learned of her passing.  It ended up being an incredibly meaningful moment that really made the night for me.


The beautiful lights of the Luminarias

Being able to do this event, on this night, was a great way for me to honor and remember Marcia in my own way.  Some day, I hope to be able to stay over night and experience the full event.  But for me, this event was everything that I needed it to be.

To see more pictures from the Emory University Relay for Life, please visit this album on my Picasa page.

You’re Invited to the Relay for Life of Emory University!

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

As I mentioned in my weekly recap post on Sunday, I have registered to participate in the Relay for the Life of Emory University this Friday, April 7th and you should too!

For those who don’t know, the Relay for the Life is one of the primary fundraising events for the American Cancer Society.  There are more than 4,800 Relay for Life events at locations across the United States each year.  At each event, teams of people camp out at the event site and take turns circling a track or path.  Because cancer never sleeps, each team is asked to have at least one representative on the track at all times during this overnight event.

I am currently registered as Team Relentless Optimism ATL (which so far is just me) for the Emory event this Friday night.  I don’t know how long I will stay and I know I won’t be on the track the whole night.  But I do intend to be there for a few hours on Friday night, supporting the other Relayers and soaking up the community event.  I will also be walking my 8 mile Saturday training walk for the 3 Day at the Relay as a way to honor my best friend’s mother Marcia who passed away a year ago this coming Saturday.

Because I have not yet met my fundraising minimum for the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure, I will not be actively fundraising for the Relay for Life beyond what I have self donated.  I wish that I could raise money for all of these events, but I need to honor my primary and most important commitment which is to the 3 Day.

However – that doesn’t mean that you can’t support the American Cancer Society yourself by signing up for the Relay for Life with me!  Registration costs just $10 and there is no fundraising minimum to participate.  As far as I know, the event is open to everyone, not just the Emory community.  You can find links to register for my “team” on my official Emory Relay for Life page:

If you would like to come out and support me and the rest of the Relayers as we walk and just be a part of the community around this event, let me know.  The event starts at 7pm on Friday night at the Woodruff Physical Education Center and takes place overnight.  For more information, please see the Emory Relay for Life website.  Additional information can also be found on their Facebook page.

Thanks and I hope to see you there!  I’ll be the one in pink!

Bark for Life, benefitting the American Cancer Society

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Yesterday, Shenanigans and I had an excellent opportunity to shake up our training for the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure – we participated in the Bark for Life event to benefit the American Cancer Society!  The volunteers explained to me that this was a test event for the American Cancer Society to see if they could take their successful Relay for Life formula and translate it into an event designed around our four legged pals.  The ACS recognizes the important role that our pets, and dogs in particular, play in our lives especially when facing something as daunting as a cancer diagnosis.  Bark for Life was designed to honor the unconditional love and compassion that our dogs offer us while raising money for an important cause.  All in all, it was a really fun event as you can see from all of my pictures below.  Shenanigans and I are already looking forward to doing it again next year!

The first thing that we did upon arriving at Piedmont Park was to register for the event.  Registration was only $10 per dog, although additional donations are certainly welcome.  Each dog that took part in the walk was given a special welcome packet consisting mostly of fresh dog treats and flyers from the event sponsors.  In the grand tradition of charity events everywhere, the dogs were also given something special to wear for the event:  Bark for Life bandanas!

A cute little poodle modeling the Bark for Life bandana

The bandanas fit a little better on these bigger guys!

Following registration, we had some time to explore the vendor area.  There were tables set up selling all kinds of things to benefit the American Cancer Society, including home made treats for both people and pups, official Bark for Life t-shirts and other assorted things.  I even spotted some Bark for Life leashes and collars for sale.  If you’re interested, you can purchase some Bark for Life items in the American Cancer Society store at this link.


Bark for Life t-shirts (L) and leashes (R) in the vendor area (L)

Support Bark For Life!

As with all Relay for Life events, the Bark for Life walk started with Opening Ceremonies.  Opening Ceremonies featured a number of speakers who focused primarily on the role of dogs in lives of all of us, but of cancer patients and survivors especially.  The speeches were very moving although the dogs (including Shenanigans) were getting pretty restless at that point.  Motivational speeches don’t mean much to dogs, unfortunately.


Opening Ceremonies speakers

With the conclusion of Opening Ceremonies, it was time for the walk to officially begin.  Unlike the Relay for Life, which usually lasts for 12 or even 24 hours, the Bark for Life was only a one mile walk.  Our walk took place around the Active Oval at Piedmont Park, which is usually off limits to dogs, something the Bark for Life organizers failed to plan for.  In the future, I think a lap around Lake Clara Meer might work better.  Regardless, we all trooped up the steps and headed out onto the jogging path for a short lap. 


A team of Bark for Life walkers and their dogs (L) and the walkers passing in front of the Midtown Atlanta skyline (R) 
Click to enlarge all photos.

 

Even the little guys got to take part!

Much like with the Relay for Life, the route for the walk was marked with hydration stations and signage from the American Cancer Society.


Hydration station (L) and Signage on the route (R)

All in all, Bark for Life was a really fun and unique event incorporating two of my passions: walking with my dog Shenanigans and raising money for cancer research.  We got to support a great organization while knocking off a couple miles of 3 Day training.  A great way to spend a Saturday morning!  I can’t wait for next year!


Mike and Shenanigans with the Relay for Life sign (L) and Shenanigans and I before the walk (R)

To see all of my photos from the Bark for Life, please visit this album on my Picasa photo page.

 

You’re Invited to the American Cancer Society Bark for Life!

Friday, March 12th, 2010

As I’ve said a few times, when it comes to cancer research and awareness, every little bit helps, regardless of where it comes from.  So today I wanted to give my fellow Atlanta residents a head’s up about an event that is happening tomorrow and that I just learned about today:

 

 

This is from the official website for the Bark for Life:

Bark For Life is the canine version of Relay For Life, the American Cancer Society’s signature activity.  “Bark” contains all of the elements of its human counterpart – opening ceremony, laps around the field, games, entertainment, and fundraising opportunities – compressed into a fun-filled Saturday morning.

Relay For Life’s motto is “Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back.” Bark For Life embodies the concept of Celebration – a celebration of life and of unconditional love, and of their ability to empower us through our relationships with our pets.  By dedicating a morning to our furry friends and the special role they play in our lives, Bark For Life offers the entire community an opportunity to actively engage with the American Cancer Society in the fight against cancer by raising awareness and needed funds for continued research, programs, service, education, and advocacy.

Our canine companions offer us joy, security, and compassion. Your participation in Bark For Life honors these important family members, while supporting the life-saving mission of the American Cancer Society.

Bark For Life provides an irresistible way to “take a bite out of cancer.”

 

The Bark for Life is taking place on Saturday, March 13th from 9am to 1pm.  The event is being held at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, GA.  If you are interested in participating, registration costs $10 and will begin at 9am at the Picnic Shelter.  The relay itself will begin at 10:15am and is a one mile walk around Piedmont Park.  For more information, including the event schedule, participation guidelines and canine etiquette expectations, please visit the Bark for Life website.

As you guys know, my number one training partner for the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure is my lab/collie mix Shenanigans.  I’m always a little sad when the 3 Day rolls around and she can’t be out there walking along with me, especially since she trains so hard for it.  I think the Bark for Life event sounds like a great opportunity for both of us to help out in our community and I hope that you’ll think about coming out for it as well!

 

Shenanigans on the Silver Comet Trail, during a training walk for the 2008 Breast Cancer 3 Day

 

Special thanks to the folks at Highland Pet Supply for letting me know about this great event!