The color purple dominated the football stadium at Freedom High last weekend,as more than 40 teams of walkers took turns making their way around the track during the 24-hour 2010 Relay For Life, raising more than $72,000 for cancer research.
“This really helps bring the community together,” said City Councilman Kevin Romick, part of the City of Oakley team. “It helps make everyone aware of the scourge that’s killing millions of people around the world, and if we can raise that final dollar that helps find a cure, it’s all worth it.”
Chairwoman Cathleen Knight said she was pleased with the turnout – as well as with the weather that, despite afternoon winds, was better than the rain that plagued last year’s event. The unifying aspect Romick spoke of is something that can also be said about cancer.
“No matter who you are or what you have, you can still get cancer,” said Knight. “Relay is an amazing event that you never forget.”
She added that a special part of this year’s event was the acknowledgment of the work done by caregivers, those who support cancer patients and their families. Case in point was Karen Lyles, whose Team Adeline from Brentwood’s Neighborhood Church turned out in force for the walk, as they have to help namesake Adeline Gray through her ordeal.
“We’ve known Adeline for so long, she’s family to us,” Lyles said.
“It’s wonderful to have this support,” said Gray as she relaxed in a chair, awaiting her turn on the track. “I can’t even express how it feels.”
There’s still time to donate to the effort. Just log on to www.relayforlife.org/oakleyca.
Oakley’s event was the first of three East County Relays this year. Next up is Brentwood on June 12-13, followed by Antioch on June 27-28.