Spring Valley’s annual Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society a success

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“I wanted to create a front porch feel,” said Lisa Stewart, chairwoman of Spring Valley’s American Cancer Society’s 3rd Annual Relay for Life event held at Monte Vista High School Aug. 3-4. “People could come for a spell, hang out, walk, and leave.”

Relay for Life events raise money for the American Cancer Society’s programs, which began in 1985 according to Julie Pierce, an ACS staff member, by Tacoma, Washington resident, Dr. Gordy Klatt. 

“I wanted to create a front porch feel,” said Lisa Stewart, chairwoman of Spring Valley’s American Cancer Society’s 3rd Annual Relay for Life event held at Monte Vista High School Aug. 3-4. “People could come for a spell, hang out, walk, and leave.”

Relay for Life events raise money for the American Cancer Society’s programs, which began in 1985 according to Julie Pierce, an ACS staff member, by Tacoma, Washington resident, Dr. Gordy Klatt. 

“He was a marathoner who wanted to raise money for the American Cancer Society,” said Pierce. “Klatt ran around a track for 24 hours to raise money.”

The irony is Dr. Klatt was recently diagnosed with stomach cancer.

“You would think his karma points would help,” she said. Klatt, diagnosed in 2012, is still battling the disease. Each Relay for Life has its own style. Santee had themed laps for its participants. What Spring Valley did in its third year was increase from six teams in the first year to 12 teams under Stewart’s guidance.

Monte Vista High School’s grounds was home to tents, pop up trailers, and the relay standards with canopies for teams like Sticky Wickets, Clowns for a Cure, and the local Spring Valley Kiwanis. Participants listened to tunes supplied by DJ Flame using not a turntable and speakers but a computer and speakers, while running laps.

The relay schedule included opening ceremonies and a survivor lap, performances by Hornswoggle and others, a luminaire ceremony, and overnight movie on Saturday. Sunday brought a breakfast, a fight back ceremony, and closing ceremony.

Lap participant, Dianne Brown, 5, and her mom, Spring Valley resident Shannon Brown, appreciated the face painting available for kids. Shannon said her favorite lap was to the tune of the Electric Slide.

Relay for Life’s events are fueled by volunteers with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, students and staff of Monte Vista High School, and Grossmont College’s nursing program students doing their part to raise money for cancer research and training. The website for this event touted 72 participants for what can be an over-night stay, for some it was a two-day effort.

The American Cancer Society literature states they want to create a world with more birthdays. Spring Valley’s Relay raised $5,098.55 to help the Society achieve this goal.