Relay For Life is the main volunteer-driven Cancer Fund raising event of the American Cancer Society. Relay events and fund raisers are held to raise money for cancer research and cancer patients, the event is held to spread cancer awareness, celebrate the lives of survivors, remember those who lost their lives to cancer, and unite a community in the fight against cancer. St. Philip’s Parish Chapter is a called “Spirit Walkers” and the coordinators are Jean Erb at 872- 0714 and Karen Hirschberger at 293-8743. The team participates in a relay which takes place usually the 2nd weekend in June at the Conestoga Valley High School. It begins on a Friday afternoon around 3 PM and continues through the night until Saturday around 4 P.M.
Most events last 24 hours and most participants are a part of a team, consisting of approximately 8-15 people. The relay may include:
- A Survivor Dinner.
- A Survivor Lap, which starts the Relay event.
- An Opening Lap, in which all the teams take a lap around the track carrying banners.
- A Luminaria Ceremony, usually with a candlelight vigil to honor those who lost their lives to cancer.
- A Closing Ceremony, including a final lap around the track in which everyone takes part. Awards are given to teams for various achievements, such as most laps walked and most money raised.
- A “Fight Back” Ceremony, in which participants pledge to fight back against cancer in a number of ways. Nowadays, the “Fight Back” Ceremony is often the Closing Ceremony.
Other fundraisers supported by the Spirit Walkers Relay Team at St. Philip’s include Gift Card Bingo, Chicken BBQ, Meatloaf Dinner/Vendor Sale, Miessse Candy sale, St Patrick’s Dinner Dance, and a Craft/Vendor Sale that includes fresh pulled pork sandwich sale.