>Relay For Life 2009

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June 5th and 6th Coast Guard Station Valdez collectively walked over 100 miles over a span of 24 hours. How is this possible? Maybe an event like…Relay For Life Valdez 2009??? Oh yeah! For the first time Station Valdez participated as a team in the annual charity event that raises money for the American Cancer Society. Thanks to teams such as the Station Valdez “Puddle Pirates of Prince William Sound,” and others, the event raised over $30,000 to help fund cancer research, education, and patient treatment. $1400 of this money was raised by Station Valdez alone.
Does this sound like something your unit would be interested in? It’s not as hard as it sounds. The rule is for 24 hours, someone from your team has to be walking at the location of the event. In our case it was the Valdez High School track. With 21 team members, we were able to divide up the 24 hours into two hour shifts, many of the shifts with two or three people so that no one was walking alone. Most event locations provide food, live music, movies, and activities that teams have come up with to raise money at their booths during the 24 time span. Not a bad way to get some exercise! This year the Relay For Life theme was, “Fairy Tales”, hence the pirate theme for Station Valdez. Upon arrival to the booth of the “Puddle Pirates of Prince William Sound”, the participants were immediately soaked up by an ocean background, and were asked pirate trivia for a chance to win prizes, with donations graciously accepted. Just working the booth alone raised the last $200 of the $1400 we raised.
To raise money before the event, team captain SNBM Chey Johnson sold, “Civi Tickets” (for 10 dollars CG personnel could wear their civilian clothes for a day) and made dinners at 5 dollars a plate for the guys on duty. OINC Mr. Johannsen gave the fundraiser an extra boost by spreading word to surround units, even all the way to Sector Anchorage about the “Civi Tickets” which turned out to be a huge hit!
I can’t count how many times Station Valdez was thanked by Theresa Randall, head of the event for the city, for participating. It’s hard to describe what it’s like to be able to connect with the community on a personal level. Everyone in their lives is affected by cancer, whether it be they are a survivor, they know a survivor, or they have lost someone in their lives to the disease. For those 24 hours, the difference in jobs, economic level, backgrounds, genders, all went away. With all the different people you get to meet and walk with, the time goes so fast!
I would recommend this event to anyone. I’m already looking forward to next year’s Relay for Life! To see if it’s happening in your city, go to http://www.relayforlife.org/ and type in your zip!
Job well done Station Valdez!

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