CELEBRATE REMEMBER FIGHT BACK
A couple months ago, a family friend asked if I’d be willing to spend a night documenting just one of the many Relay For Life events happening around the world this summer. This year happens to be the 75th anniversary for the Canadian Cancer Society, and therefore a particularly special year for Relay. The theme would be Fighting Cancer Around The World. Of course I said yes.
Relay For Life is an inspirational, non-competitive, 12-hour overnight fundraising event that brings a community together to celebrate life and fight cancer. Relay has a festival-like atmosphere and people register as teams whether they are families, co-workers, or friends. I count myself among the fortunate few that haven’t been directly touched by Cancer, but 1 in 3 Canadians will eventually have to face a Cancer journey of some kind. During my lifetime, its bound to affect me or someone I love, so I figure now’s as good a time as any to get involved in this inspirational annual event.
Team spirit never looked so good!
Participants walked laps around the track at Preston High School from 7pm to 7am. I was there for 8 of the 12 hours, from the very beginning until about 1am. By then the Relayers had settled into their rhythms for the night, snoozing in tents around the track in between shifts walking the track. There were entertaining moments, joyful moments, sad moments, triumphant moments, and plenty of hope.
Team Conquer For Brave Mateo, with little Mateo front and center!
In the end, Relay For Life, Cambridge, 2013 raised over $155,000 to support Canadians in our community fight Cancer. Outstanding effort everyone, especially the top fundraisers, Team Conquer For Brave Mateo. It was an honour to document this event, thanks for including me, Cambridge.
Organizer Angie Melchin shows her support with Cancer Society themed nails.
Little ladies help serve a meal for Relay participants.
T-shirts for all the Cancer survivors at the event.
The track is good for more than just walking…
Setting up around the track at Preston High School.
Ladies of the Night!
Celebrate, remember, fight back.
The survivor banner, with participants’ signatures.
From start to finish.
Special dinner provided for survivors and their families.
Special guest, Dave of 107.5 DAVE FM radio
American red neck themed camp.
Getting luminaries set up in honour and in memory of Cancer patients around the world.
Jamaican themed camp at Relay.
First laps of the track, warming up before opening ceremonies.
Volunteers selling luminaries.
Now that’s team spirit!
Four year old Miss M gets her first ever haircut on stage at Relay For Life.
Miss M has decided to donate her ponytail to Locks For Love.
A survivor shares his story to kick off the opening ceremonies.
And they’re off!
Victory lap for survivors.
Everyone going at their own pace during the victory lap.
The crowd cheers on survivors along their victory lap.
Bringing it home at the end of the survivor’s victory lap.
Supporting our friends and family during their Cancer journeys.
A family affair.
A beautiful cake for Relay participants.
Playing around in between laps.
Special messages line the track.
Getting into the groove.
Ryan Major sings for the crowd.
Participants circle the track during the first hour of Relay.
Preparing special messages in honour of loved ones.
Some of our beloved volunteers.
Walking the track.
A message of hope from these 3 strong ladies.
Downtime is playtime.
In good spirits.
Cupcakes for a good cause.
Team members walk together.
Volunteers prepare balloons for the “stomp out cancer” game.
“Stomp out Cancer!”
Looking good ladies!
On site massages for Relay participants.
A little rain didn’t slow anyone down.
Fantastic belly dancers entertain the crowd.
Enchanting belly dancers.
Unique entertainment for the crowd at Cambridge’s Relay For Life.
Belly dancers in support of the Canadian Cancer Society.
More team spirit!
Three sisters participate in honour and in memory of their mom.
Walking in sync.
Can you see the ghostly feet walking through this long exposure?
Still going strong.
Twilight at Relay For Life, 2013.
Just getting started as night falls over Relay For Life, 2013.
More entertainment from this lovely singer. I must find out her name.
Silhouettes circle the track.
Moving right along.
More silhouetted moments from Relay.
Around and around and around.
Kicking off the emotional luminary ceremony.
The luminary ceremony.
To recognize and remember cancer fighters all around the world.
Bagpiper Iain leads the first lap around the track during the emotional luminary ceremony where all the commemorative luminaries are lit.
Taking a moment to appreciate our loved ones.
And then, everything began to glow.
Remembering and celebrating loved ones that have dealt with cancer.
Iain + hope.
Threatening skies, but not too much rain.
New friends and old friends.
A spooky sky.
Teams sold goodies from glow sticks, to snacks.
Luminaries symbolize hope and support for loved ones that have dealt with and are dealing with Cancer.
More spooky skies.
A special message.
A bead for every lap of the track.
Some of the most dedicated walkers of the night.
A message of hope glows on the hillside.
These luminaries are part of the message of hope.
The entire event, as night deepens.
It’s getting late, but these kids don’t mind.
One of the most playful luminaries lining the track featured the Cat In The Hat.
Late night pizza arrives!
Coffee break after nearly 7 hours of constant walking around the event with my camera.
Lights line the track at Preston High School.
Another haircut for Locks For Love.
She raised $85 and made a significant donation to Locks For Love.
Now it’s getting late…
Settling in for a long night of laps.
Even at 1am, team spirit was still going strong.
WANT TO SEE MORE RELAY FOR LIFE PICS? CLICK THROUGH THE GALLERY BELOW.
For the rest of the summer, I’ll be offering Relay participants a 30% discount on a la carte photo orders from this event. If you’re interested in purchasing any of these images as digital negatives or as prints, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Thanks everyone.