It was a time to celebrate, while raise money for a worthwhile cause this past weekend when the Douglas Relay for Life celebrated its 25th anniversary with a 24-hour event at Copper King Stadium.
The relay began at 10 a.m. on Saturday and concluded at the same time on Sunday. The first lap was taken by those who have beaten cancer. The second lap was taken by the care givers. Various activities and performances were held throughout the day. Douglas High School’s spirit line performed. They, along with members of the Bulldog varsity football team, then posed for a group shot with the cancer survivors.
Paul Huber’s Folklorico, under the direction of Gemma German also performed as did BB’s Danceur Academy. The 2019 China Poblana’s also made an appearance and handed out the trophies to the winners of the car show that was held Saturday.
On Saturday night a luminaria ceremony was held where names of cancer victims and survivors were read.
Twenty-one teams participated and in all there were close to 200 total participants. Three of the participants, Rosario Lomeli, Gary Cross and Jerry Schuster of Tucson walked the most, each going over 23 hours.
Schuster and Cross said they did it because it was good training for the marathons, they participate in plus it also helped out a worthwhile cause.
Lomeli said she found the event fun and exciting and she was happy she was able to take part.
Gabriel Robles, who was the DJ for the event, was the winner of the 50/50 raffle Sunday. Through generous participations he won $500.
Event organizer Cornelia Munoz has been taking part in Relay for Life for 23-years. Assisting her the last 17 has been William Tardibono.
“I can’t believe we made it to our 25th,” Munoz said Sunday. “We’re still the only 24-hour relay in the state.”
Munoz stated she would have liked to have 25 teams this year to equal the number of years, but added, the enthusiasm and passion for the event was just as high as it has ever been.
“We had karaoke at 2 a.m. in the morning, dancing,” she said. “There were a lot of people that actually spent the night.”
Munoz estimated at high point there were 60-75 people walking. The amount of money raised from the event won’t be known for several days.
“We’re not done,” she said. “We’re talking about having some kind of holiday gala.”
Contrary to reports, Munoz stated this is not her last year as coordinator.
“We can’t stop until there is a cure,” she said.
She thanked Tardibono and the other volunteers who helped out, saying, this event would not be possible.
Munoz said, to her, relay means celebrating life while hoping for a cure.
She added in the cancer society world Douglas is known as a small town with a big heart and the little relay that makes a difference.
She appreciates the support she gets from the school district, the City of Douglas, Walmart, Cochise College, the ACT Call Center participated this year and handed out fresh roses to all the cancer survivors. They also made a banner, which was signed by all the employees, showing their support for the cause.
She also appreciated coach Hunter Long and Ysabelle Nieblas for bringing their athletes out to help with the event.
“This is a true community event,” she said. ‘That’s what makes this relay so special.”
To view the video of the event, click on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=douglas+relay+for+life.