Relay For Life events are a chance to celebrate survivors, remember loved ones and take action – all while raising funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society. The 2017 Thrivent Financial Relay For Life teams brought together 592 participants. Together, Thrivent and our members raised more than $162,000 to support the American Cancer Society's efforts to save more lives.
Thrivent teams from across the country hosted a wide variety of fundraisers in the months leading up to their local Relay For Life events. An ice fishing tournament was held in February in Minnesota. National Honor Society students sold fresh daffodils in northern Iowa. Quilters formed a Thrivent Action Team and donated the quilts. And an August food drive in Wyoming included creating a parade of luminaria for their Relay, weighted by the donated canned goods. The project's motto: "Let's be the light."
At thousands of Relay For Life events throughout the U.S., team members take turns walking around a track or designated path. Each Relay lasts between six and 24 hours and all teams have a member on the track at all times, to signify that cancer never sleeps. As the American Cancer Society website states, "Cancer patients don't stop because they're tired, and for one night, neither do we."
Cheering on survivors. Living life.
Some of our Relay participants shared their most memorable moments on Thrivent's Facebook page. Here are a few:
"Cheering for the survivors and caregivers when they take the first lap," wrote Deedee Koyn.
"I love seeing the women and men who have beat cancer 30-plus years and are still living life. My kids and I love this event and are thankful for the support. I am a three-year survivor!" wrote Sarah Sutliffe, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Donna Porfiri's drive is captured in a video made after the 2016 Relay For Life events. After noting the sense of community she has among Relay participants and fellow cancer survivors, she says, "I'm happy to stand up and say, yes, I've had cancer. Yes, I am a survivor. And yes, I will walk . . . "
Thanks to all who stood up in support, on the track or behind the scenes, to fight cancer in 2017!
Ways to help fight cancer – year-round
As the time draws near, watch for details about the 2018 Thrivent Financial Relay For Life teams. Eligible Thrivent members can direct Choice Dollars to the American Cancer Society.
Not a member or don't have Choice Dollars® to direct? You can support the American Cancer Society by making a personal donation. Learn more about Thrivent and what makes us different.