On 30-31 May Delta Junction held its Relay For Life event at the Deltana Fairgrounds. Attendance was very low compared to past DJRFL events. Many of the Survivors attending the Survivor walk were missing. There were 11 teams registered for this event but only 6 teams participated. Past events have had up to 35 teams and hundreds of participants. Over $17,000 was raised, while good this was well below the average for this event in Delta Junction. We have found Delta Junction to be a very generous and caring community and was very disappointed in the turnout especially considering the members of this wonderful community that have been lost, battled or are battling this disease.
As I looked out upon the stage at our event and read the names of persons being Honored or Remembered for their trials of a Cancer diagnosis my only thought was there were TOO MANY NAMES. There are too many Luminaria bags on the stage representing each Cancer Survivor in Delta Junction. Too many Luminaria bags on the track. Too many being Remembered because Cancer took them away from us…..
TOO MANY! Yet there we were with only about 30 people at the Luminaria ceremony, only 10 people walking the track, 88 registered participants and 11 teams. Has Delta Junction been given a reprieve from this disease that has afflicted so many in our past? Where are the people whose lives have been affected by Cancer? We tried an event in August as requested. Teams and participants did not show up because they were fishing, getting ready to go hunting or outside on vacation. We had this year’s event a little later in May hoping for warmer weather and we had it still attendance was even lower. That wind will never go away and neither will CANCER……
In the past few years interest in the Delta Junction Relay For Life has appeared to have faded tremendously. There are fewer and fewer participants and attendees as well as fewer and fewer volunteers. Has Cancer gone away? Are our residents been Cancer free? Has no one been diagnosed or passing from this disease? Has the number of diagnosis declined? Is it the economy? Are we tired? Have we become complacent? Is it a mixture of these or is there something we have missed? I wish it were true that Cancer is gone, that no one has to fear having Cancer and going through an aggressive treatment campaign. Unfortunately this is not the case; Cancer is still taking our loved ones!
Our monthly DJRFL meeting was held on 10 June with 5 attendees. Is this a sign of next year’s event? We do have volunteers for a few of the chair positions but are still in need of more. If we had enough people to give a few hours a month we could have a great event once again and get back our First Place title for Per Capita fundraising. That is for raising the most funds for such a small community, a distinction we on the DJRFL committee are very proud of.
We are in need of an Event Chair, Survivorship Chair, Team Development Chair and various other positions. Past chairs will be there to assist the new chairs. With enough involvement we could have a few performing functions for a great Relay For Life event instead of one person performing several functions. We have 7-10 people committed to this cause 20 would be wonderful!
Please find the time to give few hours a month to CURE CANCER in our lifetimes. For our Children and Grandchildren, Nieces and Nephews and all the children of the future!
Submitted by Felicia Brooks