The American Cancer Society Relay for life of Newark held its annual event at Malcolm X Shabazz Stadium.
Cancer is the general name for a group of more than 100 diseases. Although there are many kinds of cancer, all cancers start because abnormal cells grow out of control. Untreated cancers can cause serious illness and death.
The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Newark event is a celebration of survivorship and an occasion to express hope. The shared goal is to end this disease that threatens the lives of so many people we love.
The event started with various teams setting up their camp site which included tables, tents, grills and food for their team. The event got underway with the opening ceremony followed by the survivors lap. The caregivers were also encouraged to take a lap as well.
Afterwards, each team was required to have at least one person on the track at all times. Although it seemed like a daunting task of having someone on the field from 12:00pm until the closing ceremony, it actually was not that exhausting. With all of the activities going on throughout the day, the time progressed nicely without people complaining about the long walks.
In addition to the walk, there were activities for everyone. There was a DJ who played music throughout the event. There was also various entertainers performing.
Several groups, such as Cee and Learn, held activities designed just for the kids. There were boxing lessons for the kids, and a hula hoop contest. Both kids and adults took advantage of a Zumba workout. And just when you thought that there were no more activities to come, another activity was just getting underway. It was non stop activities. Everyone loved it.
At 9:00pm the Relay for Life of Newark held the Luminaria Ceremony. This ceremony had three specific goals. One, this was a time to remember people that were lost to cancer. Second, this was a time to support people who currently have cancer. And third, this was a time to honor people who have fought cancer in the past. The power of this ceremony lies in providing an opportunity for people to work through grief and find hope.
At 9:30pm the Fight Back portion of the ceremony began. The Fight Back Ceremony according to Relay For Life of Newark promotional material, symbolizes the emotional commitment we each make to the fight against cancer. The action we take represents what we are willing to do for ourselves, for our loved ones, and for our community to fight cancer year-round and to commit to saving lives.
Lastly, the Closing Ceremony was a time to remember the lives of those lost and to celebrate that each of us has committed, through our participation in a Relay event, to fight back against this disease over the next year. Each participant was giving a candle to hold. The lights lit up the bleachers with the words "HOPE" clearly illuminated. It was an emotional time for many. The weather was warm and the atmosphere was calm.
All of the participants were silent at this point as they took a final walk to commemorate the event.
If you would like to be a part of Relay for Life of Newark next year, contact us and we will connect you to the organizers.