At lunch today, my wife and I grabbed a burger and panini sandwich at DQ and took our food, two dogs and folding chars to EB Rains park in Northglenn, CO, not too far from our house. EB Rains park has a nice small lake, Webster Lake, with ducks, paddle boats and lots of families enjoying the outdoor picnic areas and playground. When we piled out of the truck, with chairs, dogs and food in tow, we quickly realized this weekend was the American Cancer Society Relay For Life event at the park. First we encountered walkers who were walking the path around Webster Lake. Then the many banners and signs about local businesses who were supporting he event. Then the booths, followed by tents where the relay teams were staying the weekend. It was quite a site.
We set up our impromptu picnic lunch next to the lake's edge and mowed down some chow. It had been a while since I've had a DQ "braiser" burger, and they are a lot smaller than I remember. After eating our lunch, we walk around and visited the booths to get some info about the event. The main booth immediately gave my wife a Survivor t-shirt to sport around.
A couple of things struck me about the event. First, the community of relay teams and the community of the event overall. People knew each other, were walking for each other and their families, and were there to be with each other. They were there to be together, to be a community of supporters and friends. The second thing that struck me were the local businesses and groups involved, everything from "joe" chiropractor to Outback Steakhouse. You could tell there are some dedicated people organizing the relay just like the dedicated people walking.
We bought tickets to come back during the evening. When we showed up (without dogs and food this time), Outback, Chick-fil-A and Fagilo's gave us a plate full of food and some iced tea for five bucks each. We plopped down in our folding chairs in front of the local band entertaining us on stage with Frank Sanatra, swing band and 50's music. We were a little tired and couldn't stay for the luminaries part of the celebration that happened after dark, but we enjoyed a nice day and a nice evening. Thanks to everyone at that Relay For Life event. It lifted our spirits to be able to be a very small part of it. Maybe we'll be more involved in it someway next time around.