Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Relay For Life 2011 | charity

I am so proud to say that I was involved with Relay For Life this year thanks to a friend of mine who I have known since high school, Heather Washburn.  Heather contacted me last year and asked if I would like to be part of her Relay team.  I didn't have a clue what she was asking me to do, but after she explained to me what it was all about, I jumped on board without hesitation.  Heather not only had a team to keep up with this year, but she was also a committee member for the Apopka Chapter of Relay For Life.  I can't imagine how she managed to handle so much at once!

Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society's signature fundraising event.  It is very broad in the number of activities that you can do to raise money towards a cure for cancer.  Ultimately the goal is for people to join together as teams, in different towns and cities across America, and raise money together in whatever way they see fit for the American Cancer Society.  This is a year-long process where each team member sets a goal for himself to raise a certain dollar amount as well as raising money together as a team.  Some of the ways that our team raised money this year was through flat donations, car washes, jewelry sales, and pampered chef sales as well as a few others that I can't remember.

You can check out more about what Relay For Life is here:  What Is Relay?

The actual Relay event for our town took place on April 16 and 17th.  Even after having Heather explain to me what all was involved in the Relay event, I had no idea what to expect.  But I was blown away with the whole thing.

The day begins with some announcements, recognitions and speeches by committee members as well as the Mayor of Apopka.

I was so glad that my dad and sister, Crystal, were able to come spend the day with our team.

Here are dad and Brian hanging out, waiting for everything to start.

I think they were also waiting on these guys to get the meat cooked.  This is Kevin (left) and Mike (right).  Another way to raise money for the Relay is at the event.  Each team comes up with something to sell the day of.  Our team decided to cook pulled pork and turkey legs.  It was a lot of work but turned out to be a great idea!  Seems like everybody wanted some of Mike's pork!

The Relay actually starts with the first lap walked by cancer survivors.  It is truly amazing to see so many faces, knowing that they are fighting and beating this awful disease.

Dad walked as well when they asked the caregivers to join the cancer survivors who were already making the first lap.

- He was there for you, mom.  And I know how much it meant to you because, even though you couldn't talk, you told me several times how wonderful he was. -

Next, the teams make their laps.  I made the team banner for Heather in hopes to take a little something off of her plate.

I wasn't able to capture photos all day as I had hoped.  Our team needed lots of help at our tent where we were selling lots of sandwiches and sweet tea!  Thank you, Crystal and dad, for getting photos of the different things they had going on throughout the day!

These were the guys who participated in Ms. Relay.  Basically, they walked laps in women's clothing collecting cash donations people who wanted to contribute.

One of our team members, Debbie, was doing hair-wraps as another way to raise money the day of the event.

We also had a smash car to raise money.  There is Brian going to town on it.  What a great way to work out some aggression!   And, it seems like there were many who needed it because our smash car was a complete success.  I wish I could have gotten a photo of it the next day after all the bashing!

Paula also came out to show her support to our team.  She has such a great heart!

Gracey in her team shirt.

One of the big items on everyone's to-do list the day of the even was Messages To Heaven.  This is where you can write a message to your loved ones in heaven.  The message is attached to a helium-filled balloon and all at once everyone releases their balloons into the sky.  It was so beautiful, and I saw many tears flowing while this took place, including my own.

Gracey decided to have a go at smashing up the car.

We decorated a few luminary for the Luminary Ceremony which took place later that night.

This first one was ours for mom.  The white ribbon is for lung cancer.

On the back I placed lyrics from a Josh Groban song which now means so much to me because Stacy made me a beautiful framed photo of my mom and I with these lyrics.  How she knew that mom loved Josh Groban, I will never know.

 This is the one we made for both of our grandmothers, Esther Anderson and June Crammer.  They too both died of lung cancer.

This one means so much to me because my little girl made it.  I wish I could have kept it.  She drew a picture of her and my mom holding hands, smiling.  It was beautiful!

These next ones I do not know who they belonged to but they were out in front of our tent so I took photos guessing that they belonged to some of our team members.

Crystal and Gracey out in front of our tent.

The three of us girls got matching glitter tattoos. =)  Mine actually stayed on for about three days.

After it got dark the luminary ceremony started.  These luminary were up in the stands and the first ones lit while a speaker explained each part being lighted as well as what the luminary ceremony was all about.

Then they go around the track and light up all of the luminary.  So touching.

Brian and I didn't stay the night but we loaned our tent so that others from our team could.  We made it until about 11:30pm or so.  Our team was still going strong, selling sandwiches and taking turns walking the track.  Gracey ended up staying with Debbie's girls and she said it was so much fun!  Apparently there was a pretty obnoxious morning wake up around 6am and something about a pajama lap!  Hopefully next year I will be able to participate in that as well.

All-in-all it was a very sucessful event.  I was told that the Apopka teams raised over $90,000.00 for The American Cancer Society!  That is amazing!  And I'm so glad that I could do my part as well as so very thankful to each and every one of you who donated towards my personal goal!

Stephanie Crammer
Crystal Crammer
Beth and Mike Washburn
Cindy Spaid
Tyler Spaid
Krista Sivick
Jeannie Johnson
Heather Griffon
Andrea Horahan
Sharon Lobus
Paula Santullo
John Cash
Marc Gross
Jessica Cooley
Kaye Swatts

Thank you, thank you, thank you!  It means so much to me that you all care so much and helped me by making donations on my behalf!



  1. so lovely. i know she was there with all of you that day ... and always. wish we could have been there - please know that we were supporting you and yours from here.

    a side note: how i loved seeing your baby bump in your dad's glasses in the first picture of him. can't wait to see it in person ;) !

    and i did not know that your mom loved josh groban. in the moment, it just felt right. but i don't believe in coincidences. so very thankful that you love it.

    all my love - to you - always.

  2. You really captured your team and Relay. The photos are wonderful.

    Jane Hobson