August 1, 2006 > Relay For Life come to Union City
Relay For Life come to Union City
by Julie Grabowski
The Tri-Cities battle against cancer continues as Relay For Life brings its message of awareness, support, and inspiration to Union City. Previously joined with Fremont and Newark, Union City will host its first independent relay event on Saturday, August 5, establishing local identity and making it possible for residents to participate in their hometown.
Relay For Life is a 24-hour event where team participants run or walk laps around a track to raise money for cancer prevention, helping to save lives and diminish suffering. It is a time to celebrate life, honor loved ones and, most importantly, make a difference. This year's event will be at James Logan High School on "H" Street.
A cancer survivor himself, event chair John Zowin hopes to help other survivors become aware of Relay For Life as well as the variety of service programs available through the American Cancer Society (ACS). The goal is to expand knowledge of this disease while promoting early detection and general good health. First-time volunteer George Hwang is excited to be involved with the event, saying it is important to deliver hope and give people an outlet so they don't become isolated from society. Cancer patients need to know they are not alone.
Celebrities of the event are the cancer survivors who are awarded medals and then begin the relay with a "Survivor Lap" at 10 a.m. Saturday accompanied by local Girl Scouts. The following hours are filled with music, dancing, activities, information, and food. An emotional "Luminaria" Ceremony lights up the track at dusk, paying tribute to those lost to cancer, those still in the fight, and those who have overcome the disease.
In 2005, Relay For Life events raised $400 million nationwide; $29 million contributed by California alone. Union City's goal is $75,000. It's their part of working to change "hope" into "cure."
Zowin urges people to stop by and experience the event; get information, purchase a luminaria candle or make a donation. He even welcomes last minute participants. Relay For Life is an event for head, heart, and spirit where the funds you raise could one day save your own life or that of someone you love.
For more information, contact John Zowin at (510) 687-9461; Cynthia Shane Smith at (925) 934-7640 or visit www.acsevents.org/relay/ca.
Cancer information is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-ACS-2345 or www.cancer.org.
Relay For Life
James Logan High School
1800 H Street
10 a.m. Saturday, August 5 through
10 a.m. Sunday, August 6