Wish Upon a Cure: American Cancer Society Relay For Life to return to St. Bernard

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life.

When a community comes together for a cause, magic happens. The 2017 Relay For Life of St. Bernard Parish will be held next Saturday, April 22 at the St. Bernard Parish Government Complex Parking Lot (site of Crawfish Fest annually) at 8201 W. Judge Perez Drive in Chalmette from 2:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

This free event will feature a variety of delicious local cuisines, non-stop music and upbeat ambiance, games and activities for the whole family, and the Relay For Life tradition of ceremonies honoring survivors, caregivers, and loved ones lost to the disease.

This year’s theme – “Wish Upon a Cure” – is a nod to Walt Disney’s canon of inspirational characters and fairytales which remind us never to give up on our dreams for a brighter future – free of cancer’s burden. A Best Disney Costume Contest will be held for both adults and children.

The American Cancer Society is the nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service. Relay For Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society; staffed and coordinated by volunteers in more than 5,200 communities and 27 countries.

Last year’s Relay For Life of St. Bernard Parish raised over $62,000 to be put towards the American Cancer Society’s life-saving research, support programs and community initiatives, as well as to benefit the local New Orleans Patrick F. Taylor Hope Lodge. The nationwide network of Hope Lodge communities provides not only free lodging to those receiving treatment away from home, but a supportive environment for cancer patients and their caregivers.

The history of Relay For Life is what inspires the format of the non-competitive relay event. In May 1985, Dr. Gordon “Gordy” Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Washington, raising money to benefit the American Cancer Society. The next year he was joined by friends and family, and the movement grew into what it is today. Relay is a team fundraising event where team members take turns walking around a designated path symbolic of Dr. Klatt’s mission. Each team is asked to have a member on the track at all times to signify that cancer never sleeps.

The day’s events will kick off at 2:00 p.m. Saturday with the Opening Ceremony, followed by special recognition for survivors and caregivers at 2:30 p.m. Zumba class will be held for attendees at 7:00 p.m., and a neon-hued Glow Run will take place at 8:00 p.m. Glow Run registration is open on-site and available for $10 (children 5 and under free), and there will be awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, along with brightest runner. The powerful Luminaria Ceremony honoring those lost to cancer will light up the night at 9:00 p.m. Luminarias will be available to purchase and decorate for $10 at each team booth. Other attractions include a craft fair, DJ, balloon release and silent auction.

American Cancer Society Relay For Life Community Manager Jasmine Short said, “The St. Bernard Relay volunteer leaders have gone above and beyond to ensure that this year’s event will be one to remember. I am so proud of the strides we’ve already made through our fundraising efforts! It’s an inspiring moment to see community members of all ages work together for such a meaningful cause. Together we can create a brighter future free of cancer and the suffering it creates.”

Survivors and caregivers in the St. Bernard community who have not yet signed up to Relay are more than welcome to attend. We encourage you to join us in our efforts in the fight against cancer.

For more information, contact Jasmine Short at jasmine.short@cancer.org or 504-219-2291.