A harrowing 24 hour marathon walk took place at the Live Oak High School track this past weekend. The Relay of Live Oak event invited all citizens to come celebrate survivors and donate funds to support breast cancer research in hope for a cure.
This year 19 teams and 291 participants signed up to be a part of the walk and raised $36,167.08. While this is below the goal for the event and well below last year's total, Event Chair Diane Hodges was still excited about every penny raised.
“Things are tough everywhere,” she said as she explained that the downturn in the economy is still affecting citizens everywhere.
The 2668 Transportation Company of the California National Guard led by First Sergeant James Casner, former Lt. Sheriff of the Live Oak Sheriff's Station, presented the flag to kick off this event. These soldiers had only recently returned from their mission in Afghanistan. Sarah Gibson, a local musician known for her song about Live Oak, “One Stoplight Town,” sang the National Anthem.
The survivors took the first lap to kick off this special event commemorating their struggle and triumph over this disease. Their inspiring stories brought everyone together.
The team LO-Life, comprised of 3 moms and 14 kids, had fun at the event while raising donations. Surprisingly, this team's founders were two teenage boys.
“We are sociable people, we wanted to get involved,” Jevin Cheema, 15, said of his decision to invite his friends and family to join in the Relay.
“We started this last year. We came out and had a great time raising awareness,” Daniel Tims, 16, said of his team.
Monica Tims, Daniel's mother, was excited that the boys were so interested in lending a hand and getting involved.
“We have all known someone who has struggled with cancer. Everyone here has been affected,” she said.
“It's great to have these guys get involved at such a young age.”
Another mother on the team, Jozette Zuazua hopes the boys and the other team mates carry on this tradition with their future children.
“Parents need to be involved, and this is a great tradition,” she said. “I'm glad to be a part of it.”