This year was my first year participating in Relay for Life. I decided I would jump in full force and take on the responsibility of being the Team Captain. I had no idea what I was getting myself into in the beginning but decided this would be a good experience. My responsibilities as team captain were representing the Callis Team during the monthly community meetings, planning and organizing our fundraising events, and guiding our team to exceed our fundraising goal of $5,000.
Over the eight years that Callis & Associates has participated in the Relay for Life, the team has hosted themed dinners for the community to raise funds. This year, I helped organize 3 different dinners, which brought together friends and family to enjoy a home-cooked meal, while fighting cancer. We were also fortunate to have a beautiful homemade quilt and a set of 4 St. Louis Cardinal tickets to raffle off.
This experience has truly had an impact on me. Throughout the months leading up to the Relay, we worked hard as a team, and not only did we exceed our fundraising goal, but we came together as a team to benefit the community.
The Relay for Life event itself is an all-evening (12 hours to be exact) activity that starts at 6:00 pm and goes until the sun rises at 6:00 am. Being outside, awake, and walking the track the entire night can take a lot out of you, and that’s the point. Experiencing the Relay is meant to reflect the life of a cancer patient. Cancer does not sleep so neither do the participants. The 12 hours symbolize the journey a patient takes through the light and darkness of the day and night, experiencing the physical effects, emotions, and mental state.
Overall, it felt good to be there walking the track with friends and cancer survivors, while we are making a difference in the world. The survivors at the event had a special t-shirt, and on the back it said, “Happy Birthday is our victory song.” I find that so true. The more we can participate in cancer research, the more birthdays we all can celebrate. Thank you again to my Callis Team for making my first Relay such a success.