1 Day, 1 Night, 1 Community, 1 Fight
by Lauren Schena
Originally published in Methuen Life Magazine
On June 11, 2022, the Methuen Relay for Life Leadership Committee will once again be holding an in-person relay ceremony to reunite the community and bring back a night of fun, entertainment, and togetherness.
The theme of this year’s ceremony is “Relay Reunion” where survivors, loved ones, students, and other members of the Methuen community can come together once again and fundraise for the fight against cancer. With all that the committee has in store for this year, it’s sure to be an event to remember.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with Relay for Life, it’s an annual event run by student leaders at Methuen High School to rally the community and gather funds for the American Cancer Society. ‘Relay’ takes place at the Nicholson Memorial Track and lasts through the night in celebration of those who’ve won their battle and in memory of those we’ve lost. The event is filled with activities and games that participants can enjoy, allowing them to have an experience like no other all while fighting for a worldwide cause.
Relay for Life is a meaningful event that many people hold close to their hearts because it gives them the perfect opportunity to honor and remember the loved ones they’ve lost. That’s why it’s important that people know “why we relay” to see how great of a community we have and what we’re capable of accomplishing together.
Senior Relay for Life Committee Tri-Chair, Ella Campbell, said, “I relay because I have lost so many to cancer. I’m eighteen years old and I have no grandparents left.” Ella, like many others, hopes that one day a world can exist that isn’t plagued with the devastations of cancer. Senior Relay for Life Committee members Meghna and Anoushka Mehta can also speak to the tragic effects of cancer and why we should continue to fight for a cure. Meghna said, “I relay for my grandfather and to raise awareness to support cancer research,” while Anoushka said, “I relay for my grandfather who is a cancer survivor and for those who have lost their lives to cancer.” It’s clear that with cancer affecting people worldwide, the fight never stops, so neither should we!
The Relay for Life Event always begins with an opening ceremony where cancer survivors lead the first lap around the track. The survivors are the driving force behind Relay and they give us a reason to celebrate, having the opportunity to honor them and their fight makes for the perfect kickoff to our event. In addition to this symbolic lap, caregivers are recognized in a lap around the track to thank them for their dedication to helping patients on their journey.
Relay teams take camp at their fundraising tents and collect donations throughout the night. Food, games, contests, and music are provided for the entirety of the ceremony to help bring the community together while raising money for a high priority cause that affects so many. In previous years, participants would gather together and watch movies, test their aim at the dunk tank, and play Just Dance through the night to make the most of their experience.
One of the most memorable moments of Relay comes later in the night during the Luminaria Ceremony. The ceremony gives everyone a moment to reflect on why they’re taking part in this movement and why it’s important to keep fighting for a cure against cancer. During this time, participants walk a silent lap as the luminaria bags provide the only light surrounding the track, allowing us to honor those we have lost and those that are still fighting. Remember, anyone can get involved in Relay and it’s never too late to join a team or start your own with friends! If Relay is something that interests you, don’t hesitate to get involved.
If you’d like to be a part of this remarkable overnight event where you’re sure to make friends, memories, and a difference, you can register now at:
www.relayforlife.org/methuenmvma. Join the fight and let’s work together!