LA CRESCENTA -- Wind, cloudy skies and cooler temperatures did not
keep residents from participating in the 24-hour Foothills Relay for Life
event Saturday at Crescenta Valley High School.
The second annual event raised more than $25,000 for the American
Cancer Society. Money goes toward research, education and patient
services for people with cancer.
Teams of walkers participated in Saturday’s event. Team members took
turns walking around the track at CV High beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday
and continued until 9 a.m. Sunday.
More than 20 cancer survivors began the relay by walking the first
Redondo Beach resident Sandy Semrod said not even shin splints and
hives on her ankles would keep her from walking through the night.
Semrod participated Saturday to give respect to many close friends and
family members who have died from various forms of cancer or are now
“Cancer is the most evil word in the dictionary. It’s heart wrenching
to think how many people have died from this terrible disease,” Semrod
said. “It’s like driving, in that you think you’re never going to get
into a car wreck, but it happens. Everybody is touched by cancer in some
Tents lined the infield of CV High’s track, as many participants
camped out for the entire 24 hours of the relay. Local and area
businesses, civic groups and families donated to the event, including
food and drinks for relay walkers.
Luminaries lined the entire track and were lit at 9 p.m. Saturday as a
bagpipe was played. Each luminary had a cancer victim’s name written on
it, with messages like “I miss you every day” and “We love you and miss
you physically but know you are watching over all of us.”
Carolina Waldhiem, 31, came from Encino to walk in Saturday’s relay,
in support of two family members who have had surgery for cancer in the
past six months.
“I just don’t know why so many people have to die,” Waldhiem said.
Karen Rubenstein, director of special events for the San Fernando
Valley unit of the American Cancer Society, said she got involved with
the organization after watching a 27-year-old friend of hers go through
four brain cancer surgeries.
“You feel like you’re part of a huge family when you are here because
everybody has been touched by cancer in their own lives,” Rubenstein
Nationwide, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life events will
raise about $16 million domestically for cancer research, Rubenstein