PARSIPPANY — The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is the world’s largest and most impactful fundraising event to end cancer. It unites communities across the globe to celebrate people who have battled all types of cancer, remember our loved ones lost, and take action to help find a cure…and these events won’t stop until we finish the fight against cancer once and for all!
The 2019 American Cancer Society Relay for Life Morris County took place on Saturday, May 18, at the Parsippany Hills High School.
At the time of this article, Saving The World One Cure At A Time was the top team raising $8,025.08; Karen DeChristopher was the top individual, raising $6,756.00 and Western Pest was the top company raising $7,981.00, raising a total of $70,204.32. Their goal is $90,000.00. It’s not too late to donate. Click here to make your donation to the Relay For Life Morris County.
This year’s event was dedicated to Sean Ries, Hannah Cerullo, and Emma Wyman. All three of these superheroes have battled a form of pediatric cancer and are our inspirations for this year’s Relay For Life event! A portion of proceeds from this year’s event is being directly fed into pediatric cancer research.
The Relay For Life is a community event where teams and individuals come together to honor, celebrate, and raise funds and awareness in an effort to free the world from the pain and suffering of cancer. There are three points to every Relay for Life Event, Celebrate, Remember, and Fight Back. The celebration portion includes a special dinner for any cancer Survivor and their Caregiver. The remembrance portion includes a moving Luminaria Ceremony in which friends and loved-ones lost to cancer are remembered. The entire event is a way of fighting back against cancer by raising the much needed funds. 93% of the money raised will help the American Cancer Society provide free information and support for people facing the disease today, and fund continuous cancer research that will help protect future generations from all types of cancer.
The Luminaria Ceremony occurs at every Relay For Life event. As the sun sets, luminaria lining the track light up the night. A hush falls over the crowd that had been overflowing with celebration. Relay For Life participants, survivors, and caregivers then gather to remember loved ones lost to cancer and to honor those whose fight continues.
Karen DeChristopher explained “The Empty Table.” She said “We call your attention to the small table that occupies a place of dignity and honor. It is set for one, symbolizing the fact that some of our loved ones are missing from this gathering. They have been diagnosed with cancer, and they are some of the names and faces behind luminaries.
The chair is empty. Many of those who fought the battle with cancer are no longer with us, but rather than mourning their loss, we choose to celebrate their life.
These people are unable to be with their loved ones and families now, so let us join together to recognize and honor them, and to bear witness to their struggle and their memory.
The table is small, symbolizing the frailty of a single patient, sometimes alone in the fight against his or her disease.
The tablecloth is white, symbolic of the medical profession: doctors, nurses, and researchers who help fight the battle for life.
The single rose in the vase signifies the enduring love of their families and friends and the strength of a patients’ will to fight the disease that ultimately claimed many of them.
The pink ribbon on the vase represents the ribbons worn on the lapels of millions who support a continued search for a cure not only for breast cancer, but for other cancers as well — cancers that are expected to kill over half a million people in the United States this year.
A slice of lemon on the plate reminds us of the bitter battle against a deadly disease, a battle fought by more than 1.3 million new patients each year.
The salt sprinkled on the plate reminds us of the countless tears of personal anguish shed by the patient and those shed by family members and friends who have lost a loved one.
The glass is inverted in memory of those people who are not here to join our celebration of successes.
But, the lantern represents the light of hope that lives in the hearts of all of us — hope represented by cancer survivors and the hope for a cure discovered as a result of the detailed work of the medical profession made able through funds generated through events such as Relay For Life.”
It’s not too late to donate. Click here to make your donation to the Relay For Life Central Morris team.