15 years and counting on local battle against cancer

Zoe Greszler • Jul 15, 2016 at 2:30 PM

Cancer has stolen the lives of thousands of friends and family members and has affected the lives of countless others who still battle the disease and their caregivers.

The Relay for Life event was organized to remember and provide support from the community for these individuals — to remind them that they are not alone. It’s also the American Cancer Society’s signature fundraising event.

For our local community this has been the practice for more than a decade.

The event takes place Saturday at Whitney Field.

“This is Relay for Life’s 15th year in Norwalk,” said event lead Ashley Thompson. “This is the 31st year for Relay for Life (as a whole), but our 15th year here. That’s really quite an accomplishment.”

Thompson attributed this to the community’s spirit.

“We have a great community,” Thompson said. “They come together to fight cancer and raise money for the fight against cancer. We have an excellent community.”

The event features regular favorites including a beautiful baby contest, which is open to all children 2 years old and younger, and variously themed runs and walks. A free meal will be provided for all cancer survivors and their caregivers. 

Perhaps the most anticipated event is the “Luminaria,” at which a lantern is lit in remembrance of someone whose life was claimed by cancer.

“At dusk we’ll have the Luminaria to honor those who battle cancer and mourn those that we’ve lost,” Thompson said. “It’s a very inspiring ceremony. During the Luminaria we have a walk of silence to honor everyone that’s battled cancer. This is probably the main thing for the whole day.”

Thompson said the group hopes to be able to put the Relay for Life together for many more years to come.

“We would love to do this for 15-plus more years,” she said. “It’s an amazing event and we love that the schools in the city help us out and allow us to use Whitney Field. We started there and we’re still there so we really appreciate it.”

Below is schedule for Saturday’s activities:

Noon: Open

12:30 p.m.: Team lap (Main stage)

12:30 to 2 p.m.: Snacks for Survivors by Catering by Design (Survivor tent)

1 to 2  p.m.: Lap theme: Color Walk

1:30 p.m.: Beautiful baby contest (Main stage)

1:30 p.m.: Frying pan toss (Activities zone)

2 p.m.: Lap theme: Dress like a baby

2 p.m.: Wrench toss (Activities zone)

2:30 p.m.: NAOMI performance (Main stage)

2:30 p.m. Water balloon toss (Activities zone)

2:30 p.m.: Princess/super hero meet and greet (Survivor tent)

3 p.m.: Lap theme: Kilt or tutu walk

3 p.m.: N*DC performance (Main stage)

3:30 p.m.: Kids coloring contest (Survivor’s tent)

4 p.m.: Lap theme: Cowboy/girl attire

4 p.m.: Little Kids Rock performance (Main stage)

4 p.m.: Animal of a different color (Activities zone)

4:30 p.m.:  Fisher-Titus sponsor lap (Main stage)

5 p.m.: Survivor ceremony (Main stage)

6 p.m.: Survivor meal by Western Glee Club (Survivor tent)

6:30 p.m.: Ms. Relay (Main stage)

7 p.m.: Lap theme: Apron walk

7 p.m.: Battle of the bands (Main stage)

7:30 p.m.: Mrs. Doubtfire pie contest (Activities zone) 

8 p.m.: Lap theme: Wear a farmer’s hat

9 p.m.: Lap theme: P. J. attire

9 p.m.: Pillow toss (Activities zone)

9:30 p.m./dusk: Luminaria ceremony (Main stage)

11 p.m.: Lap theme: Clean up lap

Midnight: Awards

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