As a crescent moon rose over the College of the Siskiyous track on evening of July 25, 2009, hundreds of candles were being lit in preparation for the Relay for Life luminaria ceremony.
A total of $53,715 was raised at the 24 hour fundraising event, which was sponsored by the American Cancer Society. All funds will go toward cancer research, education, advocacy and service on a local level said event chairperson Leila Zehasian.
Seventy five cancer survivors from around Siskiyou County took the first lap of the event at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning. The various members of 19 local teams soon joined them, braving the sweltering afternoon heat to uphold their pledge of keeping at least one member on the track at all times for a full 24 hours.
As day slipped into night, preparation for the luminaria ceremony began. Candles were lit in each of the more than 700 decorated bags which lined the entire perimeter of the track, each one representing loved ones lost and those who are currently battling cancer.
Activities continued throughout the night to keep Relayers on their toes. Lead by Weed’s Janyth Bolden (who is also known as Queen of the Night), Relay participants were invited to watch movies on a big screen, sing karaoke to their favorite music, and play the Rock Band video game.
Crossing the finish line exhausted and weary at 10 a.m. on Sunday, the 175 registered Relayers pledged to continue the fight against for the next 364 days of the year.