By Angela Higginbotham
The much anticipated Relay for Life of Bartram Trail event will be held from 12 p.m. – 10 p.m. on Saturday April 1. The community is invited to enjoy the celebration honoring survivors and anyone who has been touched by cancer.
“This year, we have merged with Relay for Life World Golf Village and Relay for Life Ponte Vedra. We’ve moved the event back to the track at Bartram Trail High School and we are looking forward to a great turnout. It will be a lot of family fun and it’s open to the public,” said Kim Aslan, event chair for Relay for Life of Bartram Trail.
Relay For Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and is staffed and coordinated by volunteers in more than 5,200 communities and 27 countries. Volunteers give their time and effort because they believe it’s time to take action against cancer.
The mission of Relay for Life is to honor cancer survivors of all ages. These events bring communities together to remember loved ones lost, honor survivors of all cancers and raise donations to help the American Cancer Society make a global impact on cancer.
Survivors will walk the first lap of the event while a crowd of supporters cheers them on. After the survivors take their first lap, the other teams and individuals can join in on the walk. This year’s Relay for Life of Bartram Tail survivor participation goal is 75 survivors. Every team will have someone walking the track for all 10 hours of the event.
Through donations, Relay for Life events have helped thousands of people across the globe with life saving cancer research studies, crucial patient care programs and education and prevention initiatives.
“About 40 teams will each have an onsite fundraiser. All proceeds will benefit Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. There will be face painting, carnival games, live entertainment and food,” Aslan said.
Several time slots throughout the evening will be designated for honoring survivors in special ways. Each survivor will receive a medal and their caregivers will also be recognized. From 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., survivors, along with their caregivers, are invited to have lunch and enjoy a game of Bingo inside the survivors’ tent. All food donations will be made from great local restaurants that have generously offered to feed these strong and brave individuals.
At sunset, a luminaria ceremony will take place to honor and remember those touched by cancer. The luminaria ceremony is set to begin at 8 p.m. Donations can be made to purchase a luminaria and each donor’s name will be announced.
“There are no cell phones or interruptions during this time. It’s quiet and it’s a very touching moment,” Aslan said.
In addition to research, the money raised at Relay goes to several different programs, including Road to Recovery, which provides rides to treatment for patients; Hope Lodge, where families can stay while their loved ones are receiving treatment nearby; and Look Good Feel Better, which helps women cancer patients with wigs and makeup.
Visit www.relayforlife.org/bartramfl to learn more about ways to donate and for Relay for Life survivor, team or individual registration information.
Photo courtesy Kim Aslan
Survivor walk at a previous Relay for Life.