Sunday, July 8, 2012

The 2012 Relay For Life of Thurston County

What a weekend! I can say that now...since we are finally putting away the tent and unpacking...only a week later!  We honestly slept most of Sunday, I slept most of Monday, and the boys and I finally left the house again on Tuesday afternoon. 

This year's Relay was an awesome experience for our team...especially because of our newest members, Tori and Mary.  Mary was not only responsible for our amazing balloon art at our tentsite, but she raised more than $3000 as well!  Tori, who is my Relay sister from another mister, was an awesome sparkplug to our team, coming in as a brand new Relayer and when it's all said and done, will have raised more than $6000.

It was a bittersweet year for our team, as Jim's sister, Mary Connolly Davis, had been rediagnosed with lung cancer.  A few days earlier, she had learned that the cancer is terminal.  We Relayed this year for her, for our amazing Mary Fairhurst (who spoke at opening ceremonies), and for all those we know and love who have fought the disease.

The boys were hilarious at the event, loving every moment of being able to play nonstop, even as it rained through the night.  When the book closes on this year, we will have raised more than $53,000 to fund the fight against cancer, and we loved every moment. 

One of the sweet surprises came from the amazing Autumn Cummings -- who surprised our team with an "awesome award" -- goodies for s'mores, complete with custom Relay marshmallows.  We also received  grape kool-aid in a custom Relay pitcher and sweet treats.  It was a great surprise and definitely warmed our Relay hearts.  She was definitely a huge blessing to our event this year!!

Thomas, on Bear Bear's shoulders during opening ceremonies.  He's waving at his favorite Auntie Tori.

Tori and her BFF, outfitted for an all night adventure!

John Paul and grandpa.  Notice the squirt guns that they now have, thanks to their grandparents. 

Thomas loved his a little too much... this was him during most of the survivor lap, right in front of Grandpa.  He must think it's a sign of affection to shoot the survivors.

Thomas, just before luminaria, cuddled up with Auntie Mary, also known as Supreme Court Justice Mary Fairhurst.  She gave an AWESOME opening rally cry to the survivors, even weaving in the rain that fell during the ceremony!

And one of my favorite images...taken for the first time with some truly incredible women that Jonathan has known through the years from the fire department.  Just to the right of Jonathan is Kathleen Devin, and the next purple shirt to the right is Rita (also known forever as "Chief Rita") walked in her first survivor lap as she is just finishing her treatment. 

It meant so much to us that they all made the trip out -- survivors in purple and caregivers in green -- to celebrate our survivors during the opening lap.  Rita and Kathleen, especially, have been so good to Jonathan, especially since Mary passed away...and we loved being able to celebrate them at the Relay. 

We feel so blessed to be able to have such a powerful way to fight back...and to be able to involve ALL of our family -- blood related or not -- in something that we treasure so greatly.   The Skis blew past our goal of $10,000 and we personally raised more than $11,000 toward our team total of $53,000+. 

If you supported us -- through prayer, finances to the Society, or feet at the event -- know how much you mean to us and how much we treasure YOU!  ♥

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