Grand Prairie Relay for Life Big Success
GRAND PRAIRIE – The Grand Prairie Police Department and Rotary Clubs of Grand Prairie joined forces earlier this month to help fight cancer and raise awareness in a free family-friendly drive-thru event Relay for Life with the American Cancer Society.
The Police Department has taken part in the event for the last several years Grand Prairie Police Department Public information Officer Chelsea Kretz said.
The event was a success with free pancakes, vendor booths, and a dunking booth, where participants were able to dunk Grand Prairie Police Department Assistant Chief and Deputy City Manager.
In fact, Grand Prairie Police Department’s Assistant Chief Anthony Hogan even chose to be in uniform while taking part in the dunking booth to help raise money for Relay for Life.
“Any chance our department can engage in the community in a positive setting is a plus,” Hogan said. “Cancer impacts nearly everyone in some way, shape, or form, so it is always a goal for the Grand Prairie Police Department to give back to the community however and whenever we can.”
Fighting Cancer Should Be Personal
Speaking to everyone before the relay this year, Stephanie Moreno, Travel & Expense Program Administrator, AccentCare, Inc. told her impactful story.
“Cancer touches everyone’s lives in such a person way. Whether it is you, your spouse, child, parent, sibling, friend, coworker, neighbor, church member, or club member…you all know someone who has heard those three ugly words, “You have cancer.” So, fighting cancer should be personal, too. Relay for Life is an annual fundraiser benefiting the American Cancer Society. It is played out in communities across the globe in a personal way. While doing our own part to fight this blight on humanity, we are also honoring our loved ones who are still fighting and remembering our loved ones who have passed on. Cancer may be able to rob us of our health but it will never rob us of our spirit.”
Moreno added that Relay for Life of Grand Prairie started in 2005 and has raised over $550K since then in the community’s fight against cancer. These dollars have funded research to prevent and cure cancer, and it has funded much needed services for those fighting the good fight. These services include rides to treatment, lodging at out-of-town treatment centers, screenings in under-privileged neighborhoods, and much more.
Drive By Relay
“At the beginning of the pandemic, American Cancer Society made the decision to cancel all in-person Relays, knowing the much-needed funds would be missed. When I heard this, my heart sank because I made a deathbed promise to my husband that I would Relay every year until the day I die,” Moreno said. “Then I began seeing on social media people celebrating birthdays and special events with drive-by parties. This sparked an idea to have a drive-by Relay in my front yard. My daughter and I set up our Paul’s Posse team tent, put out decorations and signs, and lined our sidewalk with the Luminarias I purchase every year – there are now 85 of them. We raised over $3,500. It wasn’t the biggest we’ve ever raised but it was something. And you never know, maybe one of those dollars will find the cure.”
The Relay for Life of Grand Prairie planning committee then decided to use Moreno’s model for the 2021 Relay.
The American Cancer Society had set the goal at $14,000, the lowest they’ve ever set it. Before the Relay even took place, teams had already raised over $30,000.
A community shouting, Cancer doesn’t quarantine so we must continue fighting, Kretz concluded. “Due to the pandemic, the Grand Prairie Relay for Life called an audible to assure fundraising continued, and the community could come together to rally support for such an important cause. The hope is that the traditional Relay for Life format returns in the future.”