Join Relay for Life at the Blue Fox Saturday
— Created June 1, 2022 by Kathy Reed
By Kathy Reed
It is Relay for Life time! The North Puget Sound/Whidbey Island event will be held at the Blue Fox Drive-In Theater in Oak Harbor Saturday from 1 p.m. to 2 a.m., however, the gates will open at 11 a.m. and the GoKart track will be open for those who want to walk laps until 4 p.m. The opening ceremony will begin at 1 p.m.
This is a fundraising event and it will include games, food, fun, films and a chance to come together as a community to raise money for the American Cancer Society. There will also be a silent auction, gift bags for survivors and a Relay Store. Commemorative stars purchased in advance will be on display at the event.
The film, “Top Gun Maverick” will begin at approximately 9 p.m. and will be followed by the traditional luminaria ceremony. The second feature is “The Lost City.”
Food concessions, tavern, arcade and GoKarts will be open and a portion of the proceeds will be donated back to the event. Teams will have four reserved parking spaces to set up fundraisers or camp. Participants are asked not to bring in outside food or beverage and to be mindful not to block anyone’s view of the screen.
Email email@example.com for information or find them on Facebook at facebook.com/whidbeyrelay.
Did You Know?
-According to the American Cancer Society, Relay For Life is one of the largest volunteer fundraising events in the world, with communities around the world raising money for more than 35 years.
-There are 1.7 million Relay For Life Participants around the world
-Volunteers with Relay For Life and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer have raised more than $8 billion since 1985.
-The American Cancer Society has invested $5 billion in research since 1946.
-One in three people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.
-There are 16.9 million cancer survivors alive today.
How it started:
Courtesy of the American Cancer Society
One person can make a difference. In May 1985, Dr. Gordon “Gordy” Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Washington, raising money to help the American Cancer Society with the nation’s biggest health concern: cancer.
Gordy spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track at the University of Puget Sound. Friends, family, and patients watched and supported him as he walked and ran more than 83.6 miles and raised $27,000 through pledges to help save lives from cancer. As he circled the track, he thought of how he could get others to take part. He envisioned having teams participate in a 24-hour fundraising event. The next year, 19 teams were part of the first Relay For Life event at the historical Stadium Bowl and raised $33,000.
After previously battling stomach cancer, Gordy passed away from heart failure on Aug. 3, 2014 at the age of 71. But his legacy lives on. He shaped an idea that started as one man walking and running a track and helped turn it into a global fundraising phenomenon.
*Editor’s Note: The following comments are excerpts from the “Faces of Relay” columns which ran in Whidbey Weekly in 2018 and 2019.
Why should YOU Relay?
“I don’t know if I would use the word should. I don’t want anyone to think they should be obligated, but if they did, just once, participate in a relay, they would see just how much it means to those who have fought and are fighting this disease every day. If they did that, I think they would feel the way most of us do…how could you not want to help?” – Ryan Neal/March, 2018
“I think everyone should participate. The more people that participate the sooner we as a people will find a cure. Also, why wouldn’t you want to do something that is fun, helpful and a community event?” -Danny Monahan/April, 2018
“I believe that others should be a part of Relay because it’s not just your family that this disease could affect. It could be your friends, colleagues, friend’s family members, people in your community. This disease doesn’t discriminate. This disease has somehow affected someone in your life, or someone in the life of someone you know.” – Sarah Seelow/April, 2019
“It feels good to help your community, and frankly the world, fight this horrible disease. – Teresa Besaw/May, 2019
Learn more about the American Cancer Society’s programs or make a donation at cancer.org.