Sunday, September 23, 2012

Relay For Life Leadership Summit


Recently my wife and I attended the 2012 Relay For Life Leadership Summit held at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee.  The purpose of the Summit is to inspire hope, courage and determination in the fight to eliminate cancer. If there is one word that defines Relay For Life it is "hope". 

It is inspiring to spend time with hundreds of volunteers whose main objective is to provide hope for the all too many people who are affected by cancer. In a world that sometimes seems consumed with distrust and hatred of people who are different in race, religion or political beliefs, it filled me with hope to see a group of people who are so willing to give of their money and time to benefit others and to give them hope. 

 Relay Summit 2

Relay For Life represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated.  Relay For Life is more than just a fundraiser. It’s a life-changing experience. At Relay, every person in the community has a chance to celebrate, remember, and fight back. And every person who participates joins others around the globe as part of this worldwide movement to end cancer.

 Relay For Life Leadership Summit

The theme of the Summit was Dream Big - Hope Big - Relay Big.  Cancer is a BIG foe.  To defeat it we are going to have to Dream BIG, Hope BIG and Relay BIG.  In 2011, Arkansas held 71 Relay For Life events with 1,534 teams and 2,990 cancer survivors participating.  As awesome as that was 2013 needs to be really BIG.

 Polk County Relayers

Although the Summit was thought provoking and inspiring, it was also a lot of fun. Friday evening we were to dress Big.  It was fun seeing all of these serious hard working volunteers having such a good time.  There was even an Arkansas hayseed there.


My wife is an American Cancer Society Hero of HopeHeros are cancer survivors and caregivers whose work exemplifies the mission of the American Cancer Society.  They speak wherever they are invited to tell their story of how cancer has affected their life.  These Heroes of Hope enjoyed spending a few moments together.

 Heroes of Hope

We had a great time and left inspired to have an even BIGGER and BETTER Relay For Life event in Polk County in 2013.

If you aren't involved in Relay For Life find an event happening near you by clicking on this link.  There are over 5,200 Relays in the United States. 

 My Heroes

Arkansas Relayers

 Relay Summit 19

Relay Cheerleaders

Saving Lives In Every Community

Relay Big

 Hope 2


  1. Great post, Richie! I enjoyed getting to see you, Gina and the other 1200 or so volunteers at Summit this weekend. Like you, I think 2013 will be a BIG year for Relay For Life. I'm looking forward to seeing you both at our next Relay gathering!

  2. Thats great news although I really do think more attention should be paid in what we are fed so cancers are avoided.

  3. A big part of this years Leadership Summit dealt with the issue of lifestyle being a cause of cancer.  The link below shows guidelines that the ACS has developed.

     American Cancer Society Stay Healthy Guidelines