MASON COUNTY — As team members prepare for the Relay for Life to be held June 16 at the PPJ/SHS athletic complex, many are collecting orders for luminaries that have become such a symbolic event at Relay.
Mason County Relay For Life participants, survivors and caregivers remember loved ones lost to cancer and honor those battling the disease through luminary bags. If you haven’t purchased a luminary from a Relay for Life team prior to the upcoming event, you will be able to purchase one at the actual Relay on June 16.
Simple white luminary bags are transformed and illuminated after dark at every local Relay For Life event. Each one is personalized with the name, photo, message or drawing in memory or honor of a friend or loved one who has been affected by cancer. Each luminary candle represents a person. They are someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, friend, coworker and so much more.
As the sun sets at a Relay For Life event, luminaries lining the track illuminate the night and a hush falls over the event that had been filled with the sounds of celebration. Relay For Life participants, survivors and caregivers then gather together for the Luminary Ceremony to remember loved ones lost to cancer and to honor those who have battled the disease. A hush falls over the crowd as each name is read and memories are cherished.
As participants walk the track lined with luminary bags in reflection, a caregiver who has lost a loved one may find comfort from a fellow caregiver who has faced a similar loss. Meanwhile, a survivor gains hope and strength from others who have followed the same journey and survived. All resolve to keep fighting to save more lives so no more luminaries bear the names of those lost to the disease.
Organizers are hoping residents who both have and have not experienced the Mason County Relay for Life mark their calendar for 6 p.m., June 16 for what they feel is a life changing event where the community comes together to fight the battle with cancer.