Source: Valley Roadrunner

Relay For Life kick-off party to feature princesses and pancakes

February 06, 2014

Valley Center Relay For Life will hold a kick-off party on Sunday, Feb. 9. The event, held at the Country Junction Deli, will feature a pancake breakfast, valentine making and a special appearance by Queen Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen” along with other princesses and superheroes, courtesy of Red Throne Events. “We aren’t sure who the superheroes from Red Throne events will be, but we invite all cancer survivors to attend because they are our superheroes,” said Community Marketing Chair, Sharon Briscoe. According to Briscoe, the meeting will be beneficial to previous relayers and first time participants as well.

“The whole purpose of kickoff is to bring the community together, particularly team captains, committee members and survivors and give them all the information they need to have a successful Relay,” Briscoe said. “We sent invitations to all our survivors a couple of weeks ago and the chamber has sent invitations to all its members. I feel very fortunate we have some great support from the community. We are hoping lots of people will come out for the event.” This year’s event will have a multitude of speakers who will discuss sponsorship, fundraising, Luminaria and every other aspect of Relay For Life. The party begins at 9 a.m. with the meeting immediately following the pancake breakfast and Valentine making party.

“We wanted it to be very visual,” said Briscoe. “We want everyone to know they are welcome, that this is not a private event. The fun thing is to get the kids involved. They can have their picture taken with a princess or superhero and make a valentine and give it to mom or dad, a friend or whoever they want to give it to.” Special guest speaker at the event will be Kathy Yarush, an elementary school teacher in Valley Center and cancer survivor.

“She is a Valley Center resident and she participated on a team in 2012,” Briscoe said. “She shared with me how participating in Relay For Life affected her. This is something no one wants to miss. I feel really grateful that we have someone who is from Valley Center willing to share her story.” Both the pancake breakfast and Valentine making will be offered at no charge but donations will be accepted as Relay For Life is a fundraiser.

“Relay For Life is the biggest fundraiser for the American Cancer Society,” Briscoe said. “That is what we are here to do is raise money, we won’t specifically be charging but if anyone would like to make a donation that would be wonderful.”

Last year Relay For Life of Valley Center was one of the top events in the region raising more than $85,000 in money that will be used for research and to support American Cancer Society Programs such as Look Good, Feel Better and Road to Recovery. This year the group hopes to hit the $100,000 mark and 1,000 participants. “We had around 600 participants last year,” Briscoe said. “To see a community of this size and how they have come together for this cause is truly incredible.” Briscoe said Relay For Life of Valley Center is thankful for the support of those who have helped to turn the event into the success it has become since its inception just a few short years ago.

“We want to continue doing our part to fundraise because the only way programs and services can be provided is through fundraising,” Briscoe said. There are other opportunities to volunteer with American Cancer Society and Relay For Life for those who are unable to fundraise or participate in the event, Briscoe said.

“People can reach out to me and I am happy to share information on how they can help.”

Briscoe can be reached by email at sbriscoerelay@hotmail.com. For more information on the American Cancer Society and programs that are available visit www.cancer.org or call 800-227-2345. For more information on Relay For Life of Valley Center or to sign up for the event, visit www.relayforlife.org/valleycenterca.

The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life began in 1985, when one man, Dr. Gordy Klatt, ran around a track for 24 hours, raising cancer awareness and $27,000 for cancer research. Since its inception, Relay For Life has evolved into an overnight community celebration where individuals and teams camp out, enjoy activities, and take turns walking around a track relay style to raise funds to fight cancer.

At nightfall, participants will light luminaries around the track in a moving ceremony to honor cancer survivors as well as friends and family members lost to the disease. The American Cancer Society Relay For Life represents HOPE that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated.