Parish raises funds for cancer at Relay For Life
Members of Boy Scouts Troop 70 led the way for the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Acadia Parish 2014’s survivors’ lap as part of opening ceremonies. The troop, along with Girls Scout Troop 2345, also presented the colors during the ceremony.
Part of the moving Luminaria Ceremony was the release of the sky lanterns by the Relay For Life of Acadia Parish team members. Like the luminaria bags, the lanterns were purchased by people who wish to honor a cancer survivor or caregiver or in memory of someone who had passed away with cancer.
The weather held out, but a busy weekend dampened attendance at Relay For Life of Acadia Parish 2014.
That, however, does not mean the event was not a success. It was.
“We want to thank everyone involved this year,” said Darlene Thibodeaux, co-chair for the Relay For Life of Acadia Parish 2014 event, “our sponsors, Crowley High School, the city of Crowley, all the team captains and their teams, the committee and the volunteers.”
Raising funds for cancer research and projects, teams from across the parish converged onto Crowley High School’s track Saturday night to help the American Cancer Society continue the fight against cancer with a fun Louisiana theme, “Laissez Les Bon Temps Relay.”
Opening ceremonies began at 6 p.m. with Boy Scouts Troop 70 and Girl Scouts Troop 2345 posting the colors and Tina Reaux singing the national anthem before opening laps began.
“We’re all here for the same reason, to finish the fight against cancer,” said Thibodeaux.
The first lap belonged to cancer survivors in attendance. As groups of survivors of up to five years, six to 10 years, 11 to 20 years and more than 20 years gathered to begin walking, Thibodeaux asked that those who have been recently diagnosed with cancer to turn around and see the proof that there is hope to survive cancer a really long time.
Cancer patient caregivers joined the survivors for lap two and the teams for lap three.
From then on, entertainment helped keep spirits up as team members took turn walking the track. First up after the opening laps were young baton twirlers “Chicks With Sticks.”
The girls were followed up by Dirt Road who played a lengthy set of popular country songs from artists of today and years past.
Following Dirt Road and after the sun set, darkness fell on the track. Sky lanterns were released and the luminaria bags honoring and memorializing those afflicted with cancer remained the only light for the Luminaria Ceremony.
After the lanterns’ release, the track began to fill up again as everyone took a silent lap following Thibodeaux’s final words of the ceremony, “Let us never forget why we all relay.”
As tears left the faces of those attending, the Gypsy Sticks took the stage to play many songs from various genres and decades and lighten the mood.
Both bands donated their time to the event.
Interspersed between band sets throughout the night were other forms of entertainment including a dunking booth and contests like a Blind-folded Peanut Butter and Jelly Relay and a Jell-O eating contest.
Awards were also handed out to Richard Elementary for Best Decorated Tent Area and M.H.S. Alumni for Best Spirit Stick.