City event meant to fight cancer

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The annual Relay For Life event celebrates and honors those who have fought against cancer and won and those who fought and lost a courageous battle.

Cancer doesn't know age, gender or race; it knows no boundaries.

And so it is that each year, communities such as Stanton and other cities band together to raise funds for research and patient care through various relays.

People each have their own individual reasons for being involved in the annual event.

The annual Relay For Life event celebrates and honors those who have fought against cancer and won and those who fought and lost a courageous battle.

Cancer doesn't know age, gender or race; it knows no boundaries.

And so it is that each year, communities such as Stanton and other cities band together to raise funds for research and patient care through various relays.

People each have their own individual reasons for being involved in the annual event.

Stanton Relay For Life 2014 Chair Sara Neal-Brandt, with the Boys & Girls Club of Stanton, has a very personal reason — that of taking her sister, Susanne Blumenthal, to treatments for the past three years — as Blumenthal continues an up-hill battle with breast, bone and brain cancer.

"Why I relay, and this is my eighth year, is because this event has become close to my heart due to family and very close family friends who have battled or lost their battle with cancer," said Neal-Brandt.

Neal-Brandt said this year, Stanton's relay is themed "Quiet Supehero," in honor of former Relay For Life Caregiver Co-chair Robert "Bob" Davis" (deceased Feb. 28, 2014).

"Robert was our quiet hero, and served to the end," she said. "After five years of treatment, Robert lost his battle with cancer."

So far, according to Stanton City Councilman David Shawver, the Stanton Relay For Life event planned for this summer has received donations  from five major donors in the amount of $2,500.

The Stanton ACS Relay for Life is set for Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 9 and 10, which is a 24-hour-walk around the school's track, with some camping overnight.

There will be a Luminaria Ceremony Saturday evening and a Fight Back/Closing Ceremony Sunday morning. Luminarias honor loved ones in their battle against cancer, burning throughout the evening and lighting up the night.

The Luminaria Ceremony is one of the most moving and inspirational parts of the two-day event.

Survivors are the reason Relay for Life’s are held; Relay for Life is a way to remember and honor those touched by cancer.

During a relay, people can find healing, comfort and support from others who are facing or have faced cancer.

For the past four years, the relay has been held at the Stanton City Park, but this year, it will have a new home at Pyles Elementary School, 10411 Dale St. in Stanton.

The Robert M. Pyles Elementary School, located in the Magnolia School District, opened in 1958 and is named for a career oil man who dedicated much of his life to supporting and nurturing the development of boys and girls youth clubs and currently operates the R.M. Pyles Boys Camp in the High Sierras.

The next Relay meeting is July 10, at Stanton City Hall, 7800 Katella Ave.

"Paint the Town Purple" begins at 5:30 p.m. July 22, in front of City Hall.

Neal-Brandt said they are looking for volunteers to help "Paint the town purple."

"We will begin at City Hall and then move the painting outward toward other businesses within the city that same week," Neal-Brandt said.

"The story starts at City Hall, and moves outward to the rest of the city and we need lots of volunteers. The more people involved the merrier for sure."

According to Neal-Brandt, it will take several days to get all of the poles in Stanton covered in purple.

"We'll be covering Stanton in purple ribbon," she said.

For information about Relay For Life, visit www.relayforlife.org/stantonca or e-mail Sara Neal-Brandt at sara@boysandgirlsclubofstanton.com.