BURNET — One way you can help win the battle against cancer is by taking a walk. Well, more precisely, a walk around the Burnet courthouse square April 25-26 during the annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life of the Hill Country.
The event draws together teams that all hold a common interest in not only beating this dreaded disease but celebrating survivors and honoring those who lost their personal fight with cancer.
The teams raise money throughout the year to help the American Cancer Society not only fund research but support local cancer education and outreach programs.
During the actual Relay for Life, each team keeps one of its members walking around the course throughout the night. The team members alternate walkers during the night — hence, the relay.
The teams can continue raising money during the event as well.
But the theme of the Relay for Life is celebration. People — both team members and community members — gather to celebrate the survivors and those battling cancer.
After the opening ceremony at 6 p.m., the relay starts with the Survivors’ Lap. This is when cancer survivors take the first lap of the relay. Then, the caregivers join in and, finally, the teams. After those laps, the event is in full swing.
It’s not just walking either. The Relay includes games, food, music and fun.
While the event centers on celebration, the teams and community members do take time to remember those who have lost their fight with cancer. The solemn luminaria ceremony is 9-9:30 p.m. April 25. During the ceremony, volunteers will light luminarias, on which is the name of a person who died of cancer. During the ceremony, people will read the names of those who have lost their battles.
It’s the only time during the 12-hour relay that the walking usually stops.
The Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society’s largest fundraising activity. Communities around the nation hold relays.
And that’s the key: communities. Though the event features teams, organizers hope community members will take a few minutes between 6 p.m. April 25 and 6 a.m. April 26 to come out to the Burnet courthouse square and see what Relay for Life is all about.
Even if you aren’t part of a team, you are welcome to come out and support the teams and cancer survivors.
Go to www.relayforlife.org/hillcountrytx or call (512) 919-1867 for more information.