Relay for Life of Westshore ends on an amazing note

Participants spontaneously join hands during the Relay for Life luminaria ceremony on April 30. Photo by Mike Brediger

This year's Relay for Life was a celebration. We celebrated people fighting and we celebrated the family members that help our survivors everyday. We were six communities coming together as one. Our event was a great success – only falling short of our $34,000 goal by $4,000. But we still have three more fundraisers coming up over the next two months and I have no doubt we will hit this goal and surpass it!

I cannot name everyone who put their heart and soul into this Relay; you know who you are, so I will simply thank everyone as a community. This was my fifth year as event chair and there was a moment during the Luminaria Ceremony that defined why we work so hard to Relay. Unprompted, the attendees reached out to hold hands around the track in dark silence, while the names of those touched by cancer glowed in front of them.

I could not have felt more rewarded while watching them make a loving circle around our Survivors in this special way. As I stood there with tears in my eyes, I realized what amazing people are out there doing amazing work. It felt like a hug of support and love. I hope everyone there felt the same.

I have made the difficult decision that this will be my last year as event chair. As much as I have loved this privilege, there is a time when every person realizes that it is time to move aside. I have had incredible support over the years and feel blessed to have been chosen to take this on. I am grateful for what I have learned and experienced but I know I have exhausted my efforts.

It is time for new blood, new ideas and new life. I am not abandoning Relay. I will be there year after year as a team, committee member and a lover of this feeling of community. I will be there for the new event chair as a mentor and a friend. I know I have made friends that will last a lifetime, who share my passion and that will continue to fight the fight.

I look forward to being a part of this event until we find a cure and I will work every day to make this happen. Please join us in this journey next year. You won’t regret it.

Details on next year's event will follow after we all take a much-needed rest. A date will be chosen and I will share that with you as soon as I know, along with all the information you need to help end cancer.

Amy Brediger

I am a wife, mother of 2, and a supporter of the Westlake community.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:43 AM, 05.03.2016