Participants gathered at Wicklund School, 300 E. Legacy Drive, for the opening ceremony at 10 a.m.
Michelle Mason, event chairwoman, introduced the daughter of Jennifer Snyder, 3-year-old Reegan Snyder, who was diagnosed in May with stage 2 ovarian cancer.
“This has been very emotional for us,” Snyder said. “Reegan has had two rounds of chemo and goes back for round three tomorrow.”
Snyder said the diagnosis has been difficult for Reegan and the family.
“You never expect this to happen to your own child,” she said. “Reegan doesn’t understand what cancer is. People here in the community have been so supportive of our family, I can’t thank them enough.”
The 24-hour event officially kicked off with a sea of purple shirts, as local cancer survivors embarked on the survivor’s lap around the open area. At the end of the opening lap, the survivors were greeted with continuous applause until the final person crossed the finish line.
Skarlet Settle, survivor coordinator for the event, got involved for personal reasons.
“I do Relay For Life for my husband, who is a cancer survivor,” she said. “Seeing the survivors, you realize the fight is not over. With hope, you can still fight.”
Among the activities featured at the event were an Oreo stacking contest and a doughnut eating contest. Special hair donations were made through the Locks of Love program. Hairstylist Christine Palmer, gave free hairstyling to those who donated their hair.
The evening took on a more somber note, as the annual Luminaria ceremony began. Candles glowed as members of the local community remembered loved ones who died because of cancer.
“Relay For Life is not just one day or one single event,” Mason, the relay chairwoman, said. “It is a year-long commitment to raise money and awareness in the fight against cancer. We celebrate our survivors, remember our loved ones and fight back against cancer.”
For information on the American Cancer Society, visit www.cancer.org.
Donations for Relay For Life of Mountain House will still be accepted through Aug. 31 at www.relayforlife.org/mountainhouseca.
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