Without the Relay for Life at our Wilson Park
I will never forget my first Relay for Life event. It was 1998 at Wilson Park, right here in
Over the years the Relay for Life started to feel like a
This year will be the first year that the Relay won’t be held at our Wilson Park, and I have to say it: it really makes me sad.
I’m disappointed that this year we won’t see our park filled with tents, campers and various shelters held together with clothespins and string.
It saddens me that we won’t see the glow of luminaries lining the walking path this September.
I completely understand all the reasons why they decided to move the event out of town, and why they changed the date to June, but I can’t help it: not having the Relay in
The event brought hundreds of people to
Folks are able to enjoy beautiful Wilson Park in a unique way---it is the only event where people are allowed to camp in the park.
We also got to enjoy our local talent, including the amazing Milan Tae Kwon Do, Dance Explosion, Milan Dance and myriads of others.
For me that first Relay, 1998, (at least I’m fairly certain it was 1998,) was when I made two of my dearest friends, Lori Friese and Helen Polaski. The three of us each lost a parent within a month of each other the previous August. For Lori, the Relay event was a way to remember her dad, and for Helen it was a way to celebrate the life of her mom, who also lost a battle with cancer. Even though my dad passed away from heart disease, it seemed like the shared experience with Lori and Helen made the Relay a poignant experience for me too.
On a more dollars and cents level, I’m saddened by this change as well. I am convinced that the Relay for Life brought folks to our downtown where they could enjoy our bakery, coffee shop, pizza and other shops. And many of our local business people were very active Relay supporters as well, coming up with all sorts of inventive ways to raise money for cancer research.
I’m hoping that this is just a one time thing, and we can convince them to come back to
Don’t get me wrong, I understand why they made the decision to move to KC Campground, they wanted to hold the event in the summer so more students could be involved, and the weather is warmer, and unfortunately Wilson Park was booked solid for the month of June. I understand why, but I still hope they come back to Wilson Park next year.
September just won’t seem the same without the Relay for Life at Wilson Park.