SJVC Rancho Cordova Team Helps Raise $43,384 for Relay For Life of West Sacramento
This year’s Relay for Life by the American Cancer Society was a strong reminder that cancer touches the lives of most families. It was never more evident than on the weekend of June 27-28 when families of all sizes and ages came together for this 24-hour event held at Our Lady of Grace School in West Sacramento.
“There are so many people touched by cancer,” says Jodilee Prophet, Respiratory Therapy instructor for the Rancho Cordova campus. “We don’t realize that until we are all together in a group of people.”
The event was family-friendly and offered food, souvenirs and knick-knacks for purchase to boost fundraising. Attendees were invited to bring their own food and come and go as time allowed. There were games and events to enjoy for the whole family and attendees were encouraged to bring tents and camp out for the overnight event.
24 teams, including SJVC’s 7-member Auscultate This! team, raised a total of $43,384.85 through fundraisers, donations and registration fees. SJVC’s team included: Jodilee Prophet and Respiratory Therapy students Lacy Morelli, team captain, Michelle Freeney, Kimberly Torres, Krista Larson, Mario Gonzalez and Christopher Tanaka.
Auscultate This! took to the track to support cancer research and awareness, and cheered others on as they made their laps. Many participants had close family members or friends who fought cancer; others are cancer survivors or those currently struggling with the disease. It was at times an emotional experience.
“I lost my grandfather to cancer,” says SJVC’s team captain, Lacy Morelli, who has been participating in American Cancer Society events since 2003. Laci is responsible for initiating SJVC’s participation in this year’s relay. When the college got on board, Laci had lots of help making posters, putting together a presentation for lung cancer and developing a no-smoking pledge for children to sign at the event.
The walk/run started at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday and ended at 9:00 Sunday morning. Jodilee took a shift from 9:00 p.m. until 1:30 AM and enjoyed the cool of the evening. “It’s blazing out there during the day, so it was nice and cool.”
“People took naps or went to sleep throughout the night,” says Lacy. “Lots of children were there and made it a real family-friendly event.”
The highlight of Relay for Life was the Luminaria Ceremony held from 9:00-10:00 p.m. Saturday night. Participants were asked to write the names of those dear friends and family who had succumbed to cancer or write well-wishes to those struggling with the disease. Notes and names were written on white paper bags holding glow sticks. Hundreds of bags were lit and placed around the quarter-mile track. Walkers made a slow, reverent lap in awe of the tribute. The bags stayed in place, casting an encouraging light for those pushing through the night.
“It’s a very moving time of the relay,” says Jodilee, who placed her own white bags along the path. “I walked in honor of my mom, JoAnn, and my aunt Jeanne who died just this year.”
“The event was very successful,” says Lacy. “It collected a dream amount of money; but the support and love was a prize all its own.”