On the rainy Saturday morning of June 18, 2016, 14 RRT Volunteers met at Riverside Park in Grand Forks, ND. The mission was to assist with the Relay for Life which is a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society.
Each year more than 4 million people in over 20 countries come together with one goal, to help raise much-needed funds and awareness to save lives from cancer through the Relay for Life Movement. While the American Cancer Society strives to make progress toward a world without cancer, only with the help of the dedication from volunteers and participants and fundraising efforts, can they finish the fight against the disease.
When the RRT arrived, there were many volunteers including many cancer survivors and their families helping to set up the trail for the relay. White paper bags that honour those lost to cancer and those still fighting it, were being placed all along the trail. Each bag contained a block of wood that held a candle to be used later that night during the luminaria ceremony. RRT volunteers assisted in finishing putting together the bags.
The Relay started at 12:00 PM with the survivor’s lap, where all the survivors at the event took the first lap around the track, led by a percussion band. It was very inspiring to see how many people have survived this devastating disease. This was then followed by the caregivers lap recognizing those who have cared for someone with cancer.
During the walk, RRT Volunteers used the time to start setting up for the meal they were going to serve to the cancer survivors and their families. In between rainstorms, RRT Volunteers set up tables and chairs and some additional tents. Keeping the tables and chairs dry from the rain seemed to be an endless job. By 1:00 PM the volunteers were finally ready to start serving the meal. Texas Roadhouse catered a meal of pulled pork and buns, chips and salad and there was cake for dessert.
The meal went smoothly and within an hour most everyone had been served. After the participants went back to doing their laps, the RRT assisted in cleaning up and loading the tables and chairs back into a trailer. After the meal, there were several events lined up by the Relay for Life, including quite a few girls donating their hair to make wigs for cancer patients.
Apart from some rain, the day went very well and those organizing the Relay for Life thanked RRT very much for their assistance and asked if they could come help again next year. RRT was very glad to be a part of such a great event and really look forward to helping again next year!