A Noob at Coquitlam Relay for Life

Jun 07, 2013 by Tony Chung in Society

Two years ago my cousin Janice invited me to volunteer as Stage Manager for the 20th Annual Relay for Life fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society. This past weekend I rejoined the crew at Perry Percy Stadium by Lafarge Lake, only this time I got to play a 30 minute set of originals and covers. Little did I know what would ensue.

Rocking in a non-rock sort of way

As a musician, my primary interest was the music. In the past two years working the stage, I got to see all kinds of original bands, independent artists, a Rod Stewart impersonator, a magician, a Flamenco dance group, a Can-Can dance troupe, and all sorts of fitness-related groups. This year I performed my acoustic guitar-driven set after a high-energy Zumba workout team.

The stage provides background entertainment for teams who are pledged to keep at least one member on the track for the duration of the 12-hour event. Some people walk, others run. One guy this year walked every lap backwards. In addition, there are all sorts of fun fitness activities, and children’s activities, making the whole day family-friendly.

Even though I was drawn to the event because of my interest in music, my connection has grown because of the stories. Everybody I spoke with volunteered for or participated in the event out of respect for someone close to them. My cousin had a relative and a boss who fought cancer. One of the performers’ lost both his parents to cancer. This past year, I have close ties to two individuals who fought rather aggressive forms of cancer.

Fortunately my friend (former work wife–long story) and my care pastor were both cleared by their doctors, and are now in the stage where they need checkups to keep this demon from returning. Cancer can and will be beaten.

So everyone has a story. Mine is one of hope, that there is a God close by who loves, and heals, and desires a close relationship with us. That was the message in the songs I sung at the event. That is the message in the songs I sing. I hope to get the opportunity again to share the hope that I have with those who need it.