Saturday and Sunday, April 18 and 19, saw the 10th annual Relay for Life of Santee to benefit the American Cancer Society. But more than just a fund raiser, the Relay is a celebration of the lives of those who have survived cancer and the memories of those who have not. Lake 5 at Santee Lakes was set up with tents, booths, and much more for participants and the visitors who came to support them.
This year 22 teams and almost 350 people took part in the 24-hour event to raise money (over $18,000) and awareness. Saturday began with a Survivor Breakfast from 8:00 to 10:00, followed by Opening Ceremonies at 10:00 and a Survivors Lap at 10:30. Then the regular walk began, with each team needing to keep at least one team member walking the route at all times.
Beginning at noon, several sponsoring eateries provided food for walkers – these included Hungry Howie’s, Cafe 67, and Smoothie King. There was also entertainment, including Classic Rocking DJ and Jack City Blues Band. During the afternoon there were activities for kids, organized by the Kids Camp Krewe, and Simply Spa provided massages for tired muscles.
Jack City Blues Band
A Brownie Troop asked cancer knowledge questions
Simply Spa Massages
The highlight of the entire event was the evening ceremony and Luminaria Walk. I got back a little late for the entire Empty Chair Ceremony, but what I heard was very powerful and moving. My father died in 2005 from lung cancer (after 60+ years of heavy smoking) and so I could feel some of the emotion that was present. It was completely silent except for the speaker – no murmurs, no whispers – who spoke of the meaning of the empty chair to her. Then it was time for the Luminaria Walk; led by a bagpiper and drummer, all of the walkers made their way slowly around the course – now lit by luminarias decorated in honor of loved ones who lost the battle with cancer. Later, after the Luminaria Walk, they held a Teen Dance for the younger volunteers and walkers.
Speaking about the Empty Chair
Watching the Ceremony
Luminarias Light the Way
The Luminaria Walk
Pipe and Drum lead the Luminaria Walk past the HOPE Luminarias
The Teen Dance
Doing the Limbo – How Low Can You Go?
You can find more information on the event at the Relay for Life of Santee site.
I have posted more picture from the Relay for Life of Santee.