Relay for Life a labor of love
These women had just written another chapter in the history of Port Aransas: Relay for Life, Chapter II - a year-long project.
The second annual Port Aransas Relay for Life raised in excess of $35,000. The final numbers are not in, as pledges continue to roll in.
Relay for Life involves a huge effort on the part of organizers, teams and countless volunteers.
It is a huge investment of time away from family, friends and work.
The women who pull this off are unselfish, cheerful, generous and unflappable in the face of a task that takes a considerable physical as well as emotional toll.
My hat is off to these women who have earned no small measure of admiration for their successful efforts.
Meanwhile, the rest of us made no personal sacrifice, lost no sleep, nor time away from our personal and/or professional pursuits. Okay, we lifted a pen and wrote a check. I realize that without those checks those involved in putting on Relay for Life could not have met their goals.
Still, I can't help feeling guilty for not having lost some sleep or been made at least a little uncomfortable for this good cause. As a cancer survivor, I owe them.
I am in awe of these working mothers of young children who juggled their families and jobs to take on fundraisers and pulled an all-nighter to raise money to fund research that we hope, as Richard Safford said in his opening prayer, will one day mean the word "cancer" does not instill fear in our hearts. Lynne Ahlstrom, Anne Denton, Beth Owens, Cecilya Ramsey (okay, so you're not a working mother of young children - you did your part), all the teams and their captains, and so many others deserve our heartfelt appreciation for months, literally, of unselfish sacrifice so Richard Safford's prayer will be answered.
I am in awe of the three young women, Port Aransas High School seniors - Leah Matthews, Mary Teller and Jilian Bartlett - who lifted our spirits and strengthened our resolve when they sang (a cappella, as it turned out) "I Will Survive" and "Wind Beneath My Wings". Their stunning performance led to the reading of the names of the cancer survivors who were honored, and those who did not survive who were memorialized, by the luminarias that illuminated the park in their behalf.
Relay for Life is a sound investment - whether it is of your time, your talent or your cash.
When it's time to make a commitment for the third annual Relay for Life, make sure you sign on the dotted line: to field or be on a team, help with the event or a fundraiser, donate something to the silent auction, or write a chunky check.
Just do your part. It'll feel really, really good.
Judson is editor and co-publisher of the South Jetty. Contact her at (361) 749-5131 or firstname.lastname@example.org