Our involvement with the American Cancer Society starts with a friend who had lost both of his parents in the year of 2008. We reached out to the local American Cancer Society and were first introduced to the Eagle River Relay in 2009. Since then, word had spread on our involvement, which added Anchorage and Wasilla to our event list. These past years we have created many close relationships with others that have been touched by cancer. We look to the future in continuing to help the American Cancer Society and our Alaska community in finding a cure.
The 2014 American Cancer Society Relay for Life in Anchorage, Alaska was held at Cuddy Family Park in midtown. This event was planned for 24 hours and this was our 9th Relay for Life. This year’s national theme was “Finish the Fight.” The evening started off with kick off at 6pm and the evening filled with fund raising activities. We had Eddie Parker as an emcee for the Friday and Kelly Lee Williams planned for the second day. The Miss Relay pageant was successful in raising a large amount of donations and was comedic entertainment. Luminaria, the reason why we were there took place at 11pm. This is where lit (with LED candles) luminaria bags designed with names of survivors and those who lost their battle with cancer. During the midnight hour, the mood was slowly brought back up with karaoke, a drag queen lip-sync performance, and “The Jephries Band”.
It was 4:30am and “The Jephries” were just finishing a song. We noticed, one…two canopies get picked up by the wind. Rolling away North towards the pond behind the library, then three, four, five canopies start to move. Then there were a couple of non-staked tents that were added to the mix of rolling debris. We immediately contacted the ACS committee on-site and within 5 minutes, the event was canceled. We made our final announcements for everyone to carefully evacuate Cuddy Park. Many canopies and tents were lost on this morning. The relay was to be continued…
The Finish the Fight Relay then continued on June 19 at the University Mall and was held for a short four hours as the event needed a closing. A limited number of relayers were in attendance, but we made sure to be there in providing sound for the few artists that also volunteered to be there. In closing, this was definitely a first for any event to cancel due to weather. We live in Alaska and always need to be ready for anything.
Read a received letter from the American Cancer Society from 2013 here.