Over 500 people from Falls Church and surrounding areas participated in the American Cancer Society’s Falls Church-Vienna Relay for Life last Saturday at George Mason High School. Participants walked the track from noon – midnight at Mason as a symbol of the journey cancer patients undergo. Falls Church City Mayor David Tarter and cancer survivor Jennifer Lincoln kicked off the event, followed by more than 40 local cancer survivors walking together for the first lap.
The event was organized by volunteers from Falls Church, Arlington and Vienna, who worked for nine months prior to the event recruiting teams, planning the ceremonies held at the event and hosting fundraisers for it. The theme for this year’s Relay for Life was “Celebrations,” where every hour represented a different month and holiday.
Highlights of the event included Irish step dancing, a Cinco de Mayo pinata party and a Ms. Relay pageant where male participants wore dresses and entertained the crowd. After the sun set, white bags dedicated to all the lives touched by cancer were illuminated during the Luminaria ceremony. All of the participants gathered for a ceremony to honor loved ones who have or had cancer, which was followed by a silent lap around the track to observe those affected by the disease.
So far, volunteers from Falls Church, Arlington and Vienna have raised a combined $109,782 for the research and programs of the American Cancer Society. For more information or to make a donation, visit relayforlife.org/fallschurch-viennaVA.