Relay for Life, a national fundraiser that raises money for cancer research, held one of its 24-hour events last weekend on the running track at Roxborough High School.
The fundraiser began at 10 a.m. on Saturday, and went all through the windy night, ending Sunday morning.
Throughout the event, volunteers walked and jogged around the track, earning money from their sponsors for every lap completed.
Participants set up a campground on the field inside the track, sleeping and eating in shifts before stretching and returning to their 24-hour orbit around the camp.
Sandy Yannatell came with her family, making up the six-member team “Rebels for a Cause”, spoofing the James Dean movie, “Rebel Without a Cause.”
Along with her three nephews, this was their sixth year participating in the Relay for Life event.
Yannatell’s aunt, Lynn Ameye, is a 20-year survivor of breast cancer. The two of them, along with team member Jacky Jordan, led the survivors lap, and fed the 20-some cancer survivors and their caregivers.
Along with all sorts of games, the relay was split into three main events: “Celebrate, Remember, and Fight Back.” The “Celebrate” lap was one for the survivors, in which cancer survivors took a lap around the track while others cheered for their personal victories over cancer.
“Remember” commemorated those that have lost the fight. Fundraisers walked the track in silence, holding candles bearing the names of those touched by the illness.
For the “Fight Back” stage, volunteers began covering as much distance as possible, raising as much money as they could to find a cure for cancer.
Along with the official six members of team “Rebels for a Cause”, survivor Lynn Ameye’s three grandchildren walked the track.
Joe (14), Andrew (10), and Nick (8) were “veterans” according to their aunt Sandy Yannatell.
“Everybody did a couple of miles,” she added.
Andrew bashfully guessed that he only did one mile, four laps around the high school track.
“You did more than a mile!” his aunt encouraged. But besides, “every little bit counts.”
The event raised more than $20,000 for cancer research.