A special luminaria ceremony during the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Rutherford County remembers those lost to cancer and honors those who have battled and won. The luminaria candle lighting to represent these individuals is on September 10th at 9 p.m. at the RS Middle School track.
In recent years we have lit almost 3,000 luminarias each year. This year we are doing things a little differently. Our Relay teams have decided to go the second mile by having a canned food drive. Luminaria sacks are typically weighted down with sand, but this year the bags will be weighted down by cans of food. After the Relay on September 10th – 11th, the cans of food will be donated to the Community in Schools Program and the Grace of God Rescue Mission (Cans should be 11-15 oz. to fit best in our luminarias).
Anyone desiring to purchase a luminaria may do so by completing an order form available online at www.relayforlife.org/rutherfordnc, or by contacting Gail Strickland at 828-245-2156 or 828-233-1735. Each luminaria candle is $10. Those who wish to contribute canned goods may bring donations to the Team Captain Meetings or drop in the Purple Boxes placed at businesses throughout the county.
The Relay will kick off at 6 p.m. Friday, September 10th, with the official cancer survivors’ lap. Following the ceremonial first lap, the rest of the participants will join in, designating team members to take part at various intervals so that at least one team member is walking the track at all times during the night until the closing ceremony Saturday morning, September 11th.
Luminarias are those glowing bags, that to the naked eye appear to be nothing more than paper sacks filled with sand and candles. ... But upon closer examination these sacks represent more. The paper sack represents our thick skin– what you need when you hear a cancer diagnosis. The sand (this year canned food) offers us a firm foundation when we feel weak and falter. The candle is as solid as a rock. It’s what our caregivers, family, friends, doctors and nurses are to us. The flame is the light of hope that a cure will be found before more luminaria are lit. It’s the burning desire in each of us to extinguish cancer now. When the sun goes down, hundreds of luminaria light the way under the stars.