The theme on June 23, 2018 at Bel Air Park in Weed was 'One County, One Cure, Where Every Color Matters'

The 16th annual Relay for Life of Siskiyou County event was held at Bel Air Park in Weed on June 23.

This year’s 22-hour celebration began at 10 a.m. with Opening Ceremonies. Throughout the day, participants and attendees enjoyed food, games, music, and even got to have some fun in the city pool.

One hundred and fifteen participants registered as part of a team, and 38 survivors signed up.

Each team created posters to spread awareness about a cancer they chose to educate the community on.

The Guardians of Hope received the Outstanding Mission Delivery for their efforts in presenting facts about Glioblastoma (brain cancer).

The teams also chose a mission activity related to the cancer they had chosen to inform the community on.

Team Dylan was presented with the award for the Best Mission Activity. They set up a rock painting booth, “ROCKin Relay and Going Gold for Childhood Cancer Awareness.”

The Pink Panthers were awarded the Best Decorated Campsite trophy. Their campsite promoted breast cancer awareness, and therefore was pink, pink, pink. Also present in this amazing display was a large Pink Panther Plush.

The participants had a blast walking the track during different themed lap hours such as TuTu Much cancer, Every Color Matters, and ’80s theme. They also got moving with Carola Trout’s Zumba and the Mountain Line Dancers.

The setting changed from fun and laughter to quiet reflection at about 9:30 p.m., when the Luminaria Ceremony began.

Donnie Spurr and Shanti Cummins gently set the tone with a heartfelt speech and then Mitchell Suave and Miranda Connelly took to the stage and sang three songs that inspired the crowd. The entire group then set out together in a lap of silence in remembrance and celebration of loved ones.

Lining the pathway were hundreds of Luminaria Bags, shining with candle light, in honor or in memory of those affected by cancer. The relayers then sat quietly to enjoy a slideshow put together by Carolyn Foster who traveled with her team, Rebels for a Cure, all the way from Rohnert Park.

Foster had reached out to participants, asking for pictures of loved ones, the survivors, and the taken, and then created this precious gift to reveal during this part of the ceremony. Those who watched, shared a little laughter, many tears, and lots of hugs, as they shared the powerful vision as one community, sharing a common bond and making the commitment to continue the fight against cancer.

Participants continued to walk throughout the evening and into the early morning hours, keeping in mind that Cancer Never Sleeps.

As the sun rose, a new day of hope was upon us. Closing ceremonies began at 7:30 a.m. A final lap was taken as one team, one community, one county. The teams left with new friendships and an overwhelming sense of inspiration and unity, with a promise to continue to “Save Lives, Celebrate Lives, and Lead the Fight to A World Without Cancer.”

The fundraising efforts for the event will continue up until Aug. 23. The goal is to raise $65,000 for the American Cancer Society. Please contact Cindy Cheffey for details at 530-859-0143.