The 2010 Greensboro Relay For Life Committee met last week to begin planning next year's event. The final item on our agenda was a proposal to change the time Relay is held from Friday overnight to Saturday from noon to midnight.
The ACS website has this to say about Relay: The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. At Relay, teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Because cancer never sleeps, Relays are overnight events up to 24 hours in length. And in 2006, a Texas Relayer said this.
You might say I have strong feelings concerning Relay as an overnight event.
Greensboro's 2010 committee, by a two-thirds majority, disagrees. I've spent most of the last week just plain pissed off over the issue, to the point that I discussed moving to some other community's Relay with my wife. Then, over my last two lunch breaks at work last week, I watched The Last Lecture again, and one of Randy Pausch's points really hit home.
Paraphrasing: The brick walls are there to make us show how much we want things.
I want Relay to succeed in Greensboro in 2010, with my help and participation. I still believe that the overnight symbolism is extremely important and should be imprinted on the psyche of every Relayer, but not as important as the cause.
I do intend to vote for the event to be held overnight in 2011 and beyond, but the issue is decided for this year.