The online newspaper of Canyon High School

The Eagle's Tale

The online newspaper of Canyon High School

The Eagle's Tale

The online newspaper of Canyon High School

The Eagle's Tale

Relaying hope: Community to participate in annual fundraiser tonight to honor cancer survivors, raise money for research

Luminarias are placed at Relay for Life to honor cancer survivers and in memory of those who have died.

Diagnosis. The day begins to fade. The darkness of night seems to be closing in except for a small light. Hope begins to grow as the night turns to day. Courage, time, fear, hope, and the struggle are all a part of a patients fight to survive.

The American Cancer Society’s annual Relay for Life fundraiser will be tonight at the new West Texas A&M Buffalo Sports Complex. All proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society. The event will start at 7 p.m. and will end at 7 the following morning. Activities and entertainment will be held throughout the night as relay teams walk the track to honor cancer patients.

“Relay for Life, believe it or not, is the largest fundraiser for the American Cancer Society nationwide,” Collier said. “American Cancer Society is the second largest producer of funds for research for cancer next to the federal government. Basically, you take the federal government out; the American Cancer Society is the leader.”

Many teams, including Canyon City Council and the Canyon High Key Club, have already contributed to Canyon’s $40,000 goal for the fight against cancer through fundraiser. Each team will be required to have one member walking on the track at all times.

“For the general public we encourage everyone, families and students alike, to come out and to support the teams,” Collier said.  “We have a lot of people from the community coming out. And it’s free. We have great food and games so, why not? It will be a great night.”

Entertainment events include the Canyon High Drum Line, a karate demo, Zumba, National Guard rock wall, volleyball tournament, and musical performances including senior Phillip Tijerina.

“One of the people that work the Relay for Life asked me to play the song I performed at my mother’s funeral,” Tijerina said. “It is important to me because not only is it a benefit for people that have survived cancer and are still going through cancer but I know the pain of losing a family member to it and having other members of my family as well as myself go through it.”

At sunset, the Luminaria Ceremony will begin. Luminaria are white paper bags that can be personalized with a name, photo, message, or drawing to honor those affected by cancer. At the ceremony, a candle will be placed inside of each of the Luminaria and all participants, survivors, and caregivers will gather to honor the memory of loved ones and those whose fight continues by walking a lap together around the track.

“My favorite event hands down is the Luminaria ceremony,” Collier said.  “I get that emotional pull from the ceremony. To see the lights, the Luminaria, around the track and to know those all represent lives really touches me. It’s such an emotional part of the relay.”

The Relay for Life as a whole symbolizes the life of anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer. Each part of the night is part of the cancer patient’s journey through the fight against cancer.

“The reason why we have it set from 7 pm to 7am is because it represents their diagnosis because their sun is setting,” Collier said. “Our feet are starting to hurt because we’ve been walking for hours but we take that moment to reflect as a cancer patient will reflect, ‘Okay. I can do this.’ But they also get a little scared too.”

She goes on to explain how the Fight Back ceremony gives the families and patients momentum against this disease and motivation to keep fighting, but that the most memorable part is what comes after.                                                                                                                                                                   

“But the most beautiful part is at 7 in the morning,” Collier said. “As the sun rises it gives that cancer patient hope. And we can remember that we all have hope that this disease will be eradicated.”

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About the Contributor
Josh Collins, Associate Editor
This one time, in Australia… Hello everyone! My name is Josh Collins, and I am an associate editor. I am a senior at Canyon High and am involved with several clubs and organizations. I am the president of Key Club, the president of National Honors Society, and am involved heavily with the American Sign Language Honor Society. I am also in the PRO program as well as the CHS End It movement. This summer I took a trip to Australia to attend a week long program at the University of Melbourne for the Young Leaders Winter Program. It was the best trip of my life, it opened my eyes to many cultural differences, and I loved every second. I also worked this summer at Ceta Canyon Methodist Church and Retreat Center. It was my second year working there and was an amazing experience. If I’m not at home napping, I am probably at Sonic or the movies. I love sushi, music, the ocean and writing! I especially love writing entertainment review and features. For college, my dream is to return to the University of Melbourne.

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