Last weekend (June 18-19), Team Darrel participated for the third time at the Relay For Life here in Fergus. If you have never attended one of these events put on by the Canadian Cancer Society, you have been missing something very special. From the Survivors Lap, to the emotional testimonials by others who have been touched by cancer, to the lighting of the luminaries, it is just something you have to be there to experience for yourself.
The weather, though it threatened to get nasty a couple of times, co-operated with us this year. On our first year, we spent several hours in a nearby barn, as the Cancer Society closed the track off due to safety concerns as the rain came down during an electircal storm; while last year it was cold...very cold (and considered all the natural insolation I have on me, that is putting it lightly). This year, it was a nice temperature throughout the event, and even the bugs for the most part, took the night off (but they still attacked my Mother...they always do for some reason).
One of the highlights of the event was when our Team member Janet Willfang had her head shaved on Stage, as she pledged to do so if received over $500.00 in donations for the Relay. Considering she made this proposition quite late in the fundraising, Janet (and the rest of us) were surprised when she achieved this goal. Our team members each had a turn with the shaver, as well as her husband Darryl (who was never too far away). Many from the event gathered at the Stage to cheer her on, and Janet was given a nice send off once we were finished the buzzing.
For me personally, the part I look most forward to, and also to a certain degree dread, is between 3-5AM. With only the luminaries guiding the way, the night damp chill in the air and on the ground, and not as many participants on the track, it brings home the reason why we have all gathered on the site for the evening. The isolation, quiet fear, lack of sleep,
feeling of utter helplessness, and desolation of what myself and our family has gone through,
and on some levels contiunes to through, comes into a kind of blurry focus in these early hours of the morning. It brings out every emotion possible ... but at the end is always Darrel,
with his dancing eyes, amazing smile, and the strength and courage of incredible amounts waiting to greet me at the finish. For those moments, it doesn't matter how much money was raised, or anything else for that matter. That is why I Relay!
Speaking of money raised, though the official number hasn't been given yet, Team Darrel collected $2491.00 in sponsors for the Canadian Cancer Society, and an additional $72.00 will go to the James Fund from button sales and other means!!! Congratulations to everyone who played any part in making this a successful night to remember for my family and myself. Together, we made a difference!! Your continued support is as appreciated now, as it was when Darrel was still with us.
Team Darrel 2010 was: Stephen Robb, Kira Robb, Lauren Robb, John Robb, Helen Robb,
Bryan Robb, Janet Willfang, Kim McKnight, Sharon Snider, Payge Hough, Mackenzie Wass
and Morghan McKnight.
Playground Memorial Luminaries were lit for: Sammie Hartsfield, Jenessa "Boey" Byers, Max Corp, and Braeden "Super Bub" Burgess.
Special Thanks go to the following:
My Parents (John and Helen) - They are not as young and full of energy as they once were, but for the third year, they lasted from Start to Finish of the Relay, in memory of their grandson, and they know how much this event means to me as well.
Janet - Making the sacrifice of her hair to help The Cancer Society assist other families who have been touched to cancer in some way. (I'll also give extra small kudos to her husband Darryl for being such a good sport about all this, even though he really hoped it would not happen).
Rebecca, Sharon, Kim L., and everyone baked and/or brought goodies and did Coffee runs to Tim Horton's to keep the Team moving.
All the Members on Team Darrel - Without you, your support of myself and my family, and this wonderful event, none of this evening could have happened.
Totals given in this week's Wellington Advertiser show 20 teams that participated in Fergus brought in $47,497.00 (with more still coming in)!! Thanks Again everyone!!