• Has anyone participated in ACS Relay For Life?

    Asked by Lirasgirl33 on Monday, January 7, 2013

    Has anyone participated in ACS Relay For Life?

    I really want to participate in Relay For Life. There is a Relay event coming up in March near my area. The only problem is I have no idea what I need to do. I've checked the ACS website for info and I have an idea, sort of. I wish there was a step by step instruction. I would love to participate along with my family. Can anyone who has experience please explain what I need to do. I know I have to register....but I saw you can do teams, join an existing team, do individual or do the survivor walk. I'm a bit confused. And do I have to run or just walk? Do I have to get people to sponsor me? What does that even mean? How do I help raise donations? I don't know where to start.

    8 Answers from the Community

    8 answers
    • Molly72's Avatar

      Some of us are just lucky to be able to walk at all! LOL

      almost 4 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      Great question! For me, I went 18 years between two of the 3 diagnoses I've had, not participating in Relay For Life. I always seen the signs but thought they didn't need me. Then after my 3rd diagnoses, and my Mom and Dad both dieing within 10 months of each other, I just happened to get a letter from my local Relay For LIfe chapter asking for my company to donate to be a sponsor. I contacted them and offered for my band to play a benefit concert for them. We raised about 4K on that project. From then on I have been "all in". I am on the committee, I take care of the two websites for them as admin, I am a Hero of Hope speaker for the American Cancer Society where I travel a large area speaking to Relay groups, civic groups, etc about the trials and tribulations of having cancer as a patient, being a caregiver for someone, and what good things the American Cancer Society does with the money that's raised. It is a fun project, and it's not just one night. Relay for Life is a function that goes on all year long for each local committee. It's just the one night, all night long event that is a one day event.

      For me, it's way more fun than what I thought it would be, rewarding and it's a great cause that helps every single one of us on this site. So yes I do, and I encourage everyone to call up their local event and see what you can to help out, join a team, etc. Go online at www.relayforlife.org and put in your zip code and you will find the nearest event to you.

      If anyone has questions about what relay does, how to join, etc. feel free to send me an email to greg @ whatnext . com

      almost 4 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I just noticed that I did not answer some of your questions specifically Lirasgirl so here are some answers for you and everyone.

      1) To find an event in your area, just go to www.relayforlife.org and put in your zip code, click on the "find an event" link. Then you will see how you can contact that event.

      2) You can have a "team" or join an existing team. A team can be one person, or 100. Typically a team will be smaller, maybe 10 people or less. You can sign up online, you pledge to raise 100.00 each team member having fund raisers. They have idea pages on line on how to have a fund raiser. If you have questions the easiest thing to do is call the local event and talk with them about what you can do. I promise they will welcome you with open arms and help you get set up. Most teams are actually friends and family teams. Most will give themselves a name to represent why they are Relaying. Like "Team Tara" or Frank's cancer fighters, etc.

      3) As far as the walking part, the idea of Relay started in 1985 when Dr. Gordy Klatt was kind of ticked off that his patients were dieing of cancer, he decided to walk around a school track for 24 hours to raise money for cancer research. He wanted to raise a few thousand if he could. He invited people to come out and walk the track with him and donate so much for each lap walked. He walked for 24 hours and raised 27,000.00 that first night. The idea today, is that you have a team of as many as you can get, and each team has someone on the track at all times through the night.

      4) The all night event represents a cancer patient's fight with cancer. As the sun sets, it is the time that we have been diagnosed. As midnight rolls around and people are getting tired of walking and think they can't do it, it represents the time that we are in treatment, and just like the walker, we think we can't make it. As dawn comes, the walker sees the sun coming up and knows that he can make it, just like when we finish chemo and are starting to recover, and we can see that we are going to make it.

      Go to www.relayforlife.org for more information on relay, history, etc. It's a great site.

      almost 4 years ago
    • akristine's Avatar

      I finished radiation February 29 and did my first Relay on April 14. I registered as an individual and purchased several luminaria for friends who were still struggling or had lost the fight. As a survivor, I was the keynote speaker and only walked the Survivors Lap. The remainder of the time I spent talking with other survivors and hearing their stories. On August 4, I did another Relay and only walked the Survivors Lap (I use a walker). This year in April and August, I plan to walk again.

      almost 4 years ago
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar

      Greg has your questions covered.

      I highly recommend the Relay for Life. I plan to start my own team this year. I can't wait to do it again. The Survivor Walk is INCREDIBLE!!!

      almost 4 years ago
    • Cindy's Avatar

      I have participated in the Relay for Life for about the past 4 years - 2 before I was diagnosed with cancer and 2 after I was diagnosed with cancer. You are not required to walk or run the track although it is requested that each team have at least 1 member on the track the whole time - because cancer never sleeps. Before the first lap, at our Relay, they have a dinner for all the survivors, speakers and freebies for cancer survivors. The first lap is called the survivor lap which is for cancer survivors only. Everyone walking or pushed in a wheel chair is cheered during that lap. There are lots of booths along the track at our Relay where people can buy things to support other people's fundraising efforts. I usually sell things that I have crocheted at the Relay and donate the money I collect. Other people on our team did face painting and sold balloons at the Relay. I also sell luminaria before the Relay which are paper bags that people can decorate in memory or in honor of someone with cancer. Teams fill the luminaria with sand and a candle right before the Relay. The bags are placed along the track and the candles inside are lit after it becomes dark. My husband usually sells tickets to our Relay's big raffle to raise money. You don't need to get anyone to sponsor you although you could for an individual fundraiser. A lot of teams hold fundraising events prior to the Relay and all teams are informed about these events so they can support them (e.g., restaurant takeover, car wash, rummage sale). You can also raise funds by requesting people go to a personalized site that you can create on-line via the ACS Relay for Life website - they can donate in your honor with a credit/debit card. Our Relay has a bunch of different things going on at the Relay to keep everyone entertained including musical groups, Ms. Relay contest (with men dressed as women), scavenger hunt, movies for kids, fireworks, Zumba, belly dancing, cake walks, etc.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Daytonagal's Avatar

      Relay for Life is an incredible experience. I became involved after my sister died and while I was still in active treatment. In the past I was active with ACS Bikeathon so I was familiar with the concept of teams and raising money. This is my second year on the committee and it is as rewarding as ever. I have a team and have involved friends, coworkers, and family. One of the problems that my Relay has is getting survivors to become involved. As someone else said, the survivors lap is inspiring and the survivors don't have to walk the whole time. Some people actually think that they do walk the entire 18 hours. If anyone in the Daytona Beach area would like to participate, give me a holler.

      almost 4 years ago
    • hogfan03's Avatar

      I have walked for my both my grandmothers (one had lung/brain cancer and the other had cervical cancer) and for my mom (20 year breast cancer survivor). Now that I have cancer I am planning to continue to walk not only for them and all of those affected but also for myself. I also plan to walk the survivor lap with my mom. It is a great program that brings the community together for a really wonderful cause!

      over 3 years ago

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