By Mary Petersen, Santa Clarita Contributor
Walt Disney said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” His inspiring quote launches the Disney-inspired theme of this year’s SCV Relay For Life—“The Most Magical Relay on Earth.” Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s largest fundraiser, and preparations in Santa Clarita are now in full throttle. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the SCV unit’s participation in Relay, and it is hosting the event on May 19 at Central Park located at 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91350.
Relay For Life is a team fundraising event in which alternate members of a team walk continuously around a designated track for 24 hours to raise money for cancer research, education, and support. Each team sets up a themed campsite which includes decorations and may include raffles, products or services for a donation. This year’s event will begin at 9 a.m. with an opening ceremony to welcome participants and then a survivors’ lap around the track to honor cancer survivors who are cheered on by family and friends. Throughout the day, participants can socialize or take part in games and activities when they’re not walking. Community members are welcome to participate even if they have not joined a team, and there is no charge to attend.
This year the staff has planned a full day’s entertainment featuring classic rock, country, and 80s cover bands; solo artists; a youth theater group performing Disney songs; and DJ Greg Barbacovi who will emcee the event. Also featured will be Kid’s Kamp with crafts and games for children. The evening will bring the most touching aspect of the event, the Luminaria ceremony. Hundreds of Luminaria bags which have been purchased to honor or commemorate loved ones who have dealt with cancer are lined around the track. After sunset, participants walk a lap illuminated by the bags which reflect their love and support.
Last year, the SCV Relay event raised over $335,000 for the American Cancer Society, and this year the organization’s goal is $400,000. Last year 105 teams participated. This year, the goal is 115 teams. Don’t be left out! It’s not too late to join a team or start a team. Imagine the creative fundraising ideas—The Little Mermaid or Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland or Mickey Mouse, princesses and pirates, cars and lions. Magical Kingdom adventures abound.
Peter Pan invited us to “think of the happiest things. It’s the same as having wings.” Make May 19 our own little corner of the happiest place on earth and attend Relay For Life. Be a sponsor, make a donation, or join a team. For more information, visit www.Facebook.com/SCVRelay or www.SCVRelay.org. You can also call the SCV ACS office at 661-298-0886 option 3 for more information. Fairy tales do come true. To infinity and beyond!
Mary Petersen is an English Instructor, longtime SCV resident, and two-time breast cancer survivor.