Relay for Life’s a tough job, but well worth the work for EndresLisa Endres didn’t know quite how much work she was signing up for when she agreed to serve as chair of Farmington’s Relay for Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. But she also had no idea how much reward she would get from the process.
By: Nathan Hansen, The Farmington Independent
Lisa Endres didn’t know quite how much work she was signing up for when she agreed to serve as chair of Farmington’s Relay for Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. But she also had no idea how much reward she would get from the process.
Endres, who was diagnosed two years ago with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, agreed last year to take over as the main organizer of the overnight walking event. It’s her job to make sure the team of volunteers who puts everything together does what they are supposed to do. It can be a time-consuming job, but Endres said she has a good team of, many of whom have worked for years on the event or its predecessor, the Ramble and Amble.
“I didn’t really realize how much was involved with (the event),” Endres said. “It’s months in the making. I think people who are attending the event don’t realize what goes into it. It’s a huge undertaking.”
Endres got involved in the Relay for Life not long after her own diagnosis. She signed up on a Wednesday for an event scheduled to take place Friday and raised $380. Last year, she was recognized as an honorary survivor and had a chance to talk at the beginning of the night about Tami Schneider, a friend who had died of cancer.
This year’s Farmington Relay for Life will start at 6 p.m. July 27 on the track at Boeckman Middle School. There will be speeches to honor survivors and the people who help care for them. Then, teams of walkers will circle the track continuously for 12 hours. Many teams will set up tents and sell crafts or baked goods as fundraisers, and there will be music and other entertainment to keep people busy when they are not on the track.
Endres likes the event in part because of the sense of community it creates.
“I think when you hear those words that you have cancer … it’s just overwhelming,” she said. “For me, it’s helped a lot to get involved, just because you meet people who have cancer and hear how they’ve gotten through it.
“It helps me with my struggle with cancer,” Endres said. “There’s no cure for my cancer, but I will continue to do chemo and different things. I think it’s helpful for everybody to hear the survivors and how they cope with it.”
The event also produces some more tangible benefits, of course. Last year, Farmington’s Relay for Life raised $47,000 for the Amreican Cancer Society. Endres hopes to bring in more this year. She had 19 teams signed up as of July 5. Many of them are new to the event.
Endres hopes there are more teams like that out there just waiting to get involved.
“Basically, it’s getting the word out,” she said. “A lot of people aren’t aware of the event…. I wasn’t aware of the event until I got cancer.”
Now that she’s aware and involved, Endres is working harder than ever, and having a whole lot of fun doing it.