Thank You: Relay For Life plaudits

June 13, 2001

On April 20 and 21, Imperial County experienced the American Cancer Society's inaugural Relay For Life event. Forty-eight teams of 10 to 15 walkers/runners joined with cancer survivors, the honored guests, for the relay; $86,000 was raised during the 24-hour event. It truly was about a community that takes up the fight, the fight against cancer.

Linda Shaner, Relay For Life chairperson, provided the leadership that inspired so many in the Imperial and Mexicali valleys to participate. She is the embodiment of a volunteer leader and the American Cancer Society is indeed fortunate to have her in their ranks. She recruited a formidable executive committee and together they worked incessantly to ensure success. Team recruiters Nancy Thornburg and Becky Deal proved to be exceptional at generating an enthusiastic response to such a unique event.

Margo and Mel Lamoreaux were extremely successful soliciting sponsorships. We are most thankful to all our sponsors. Stephanie Shaner, registration chairperson, survived the elements and the chore of recording the money to determine award winners.


If teams are the heart of Relay For Life survivors are the soul. Retta Wilson, along with Gloria Pineda, served as survivorship chairpersons. The survivors' reception gave all who attended a sense of what the relay is about.

Kids are an integral part of the relay experience and Rosie Nava-Bermudez chaired the kids' camp. In spite of the bad weather, kids' camp was the hub of enthusiastic activities. Relay "good living" activities under the leadership of Virginia Canova and her volunteers provided important cancer control messages to participants.

Our media coverage was fantastic. We are most grateful to our media chairperson, Joselito Villero. Nearly every media outlet encompassing the Imperial Valley covered Relay For Life. We are humbled, honored and thrilled for the promotion of this event.

Lastly, we had the most phenomenal luminaria chairperson in Lupita Islas. She moved us all to tears with her luminaria ceremony, during which over 1,200 luminaria in honor or in memory of loved ones lighted the track at Southwest High School. It was truly the highlight of the relay event and for us all reinforced our mission to eradicate cancer.

Thank you Linda Shaner and the hundreds of volunteers it took to stage this amazing event. Mark your calendars for the second annual Relay For Life, April 5 and 6, 2002. We hope to see you there.


Community services director

American Cancer Society

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