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Relay for Life to offer multiple activities, CPR classes on-site as well


Last updated 6/12/2008 at Noon

With each year that passes, Fallbrook’s annual Relay for Life gains more and more momentum and adds more activities for those wishing to celebrate life and help raise money for the battle against cancer.

The Fifth Annual Fallbrook Relay for Life will take place June 21 and 22 at the stadium at Fallbrook High School. Opening ceremonies, complete with Miss Fallbrook and her princesses, will begin that Saturday at 9 a.m. For 24 hours, teams of participants take turns walking or running laps in order to keep at least one team member on the track at all times.

As an added bonus, North County Fire, CERT and Fallbrook Hospital representatives will be on-site Saturday offering two Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) classes.

Live entertainment featuring a wide variety of talented performers will be provided from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.

A Kid’s Zone will offer a wide variety of activities, games and educational experiences for children. A sampling of the offerings include the opportunity for gold panning, face painting, balloons, crafts, coloring and viewing live exotic animals.

Disc jockeys Cory Carrier and Thomas Stewart will man the announcement and music system for the crowd’s enjoyment. A silent auction and raffle opportunities will be offered as well.

The luminaria ceremony, scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. Saturday, will serve as a heartfelt remembrance for loved ones. Midnight Madness follows with many fun activities to keep participants awake throughout the wee hours of the morning. Relay participants are welcome to bring tents, sleeping bags or other accommodations for rest.

On Sunday morning, participants can enjoy a stretching and Pilates exercise led by Lola Wheeler, followed by breakfast at 7 a.m. prepared by the North County Fire Protection District Explorers.

Closing ceremonies begin at 8 a.m. and the event is designed to conclude at 9. Organizers say participants and guests are welcome to join.

“Please celebrate with us by organizing, joining a relay team or raising money to sponsor a relay team, donate, volunteer or just come and join our exciting celebration and fun-filled event,” said Mary Ann Marcello.

CPR classes

North County Fire Protection District (NCFPD), North County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Fallbrook Hospital will join forces to offer a Community CPR Day with complimentary training in conjunction with the Relay for Life event.

CPR classes are open to individuals age 12 and over and will be offered at two different times at Fallbrook High School’s stadium on Saturday, June 21 – one at 10:30 a.m. and another at 1:30 p.m.

Those attending should wear comfortable clothes. Upon completion of the course, a certificate will be issued to each participant.

“This is not an opportunity to renew a CPR card,” Stephen Abbott, battalion chief for NCFPD, said. “It is purely basic community CPR instruction.”

A recent online survey by the American Heart Association revealed that 79 percent of Americans “don’t believe they could perform CPR and use an AED to help save a life in a cardiac emergency.”

Abbott said the decision to hold community CPR classes at the Relay for Life event was to entice more people to participate.

“We find it difficult to create a draw for any kind of emergency preparedness events in a single focus,” Abbott said. “[Relay for Life] is certainly a program we want to support.”

CPR is a key emergency technique that has saved many lives, Abbott explained. “One out of every three people will be in a position where they will have to use CPR, assist someone with a foreign body in their airway [similar to the Heimlich maneuver] or AED <Automated External Defibrillator> skills in their lifetime.”

Abbott said he was put in the position himself with a family member.

“I had to use it to save a choking family member and once to assist someone who had collapsed in church. The one thing I kept thinking is that I was trying to give the person the best chance they had. It’s a matter of peace of mind.”

Abbott said studies have been done in Seattle and Phoenix on the new public CPR standards coupled with public AED devices.

“They are seeing save rates of up to four times the national average,” he said. “Survival rates have gone from four to 15 percent. It’s not just a ‘feel good’ thing; it will make a difference.”

Emergency vehicles will also be on display for the public to view.

Relay for Life events are held nationwide in support of the American Cancer Society. Annually, these events collectively boast more than three million participants. Those participating typically include the newly diagnosed, survivors, families, friends and caregivers.

“Relay for Life is the belief that someday cancer will be eliminated – that those facing this disease will be supported and that we will never, ever forget those who have lost their lives to cancer,” said Marcello.

For more information on any aspect of the event, contact entertainment chairperson Mary Ann Marcello at (760) 723-1117 or even chairperson Erin Walker at (760) 695-7258.

Relay for Life schedule of events

Saturday, June 21

• 9 to 11 a.m. – Opening ceremonies, including VFW Color Guard, Alinah Lopez performing the National Anthem, the Invocation and speaker/cancer survivor Mary Ellen Langlois

• 10 to 11 a.m. – Balloon Lady in the Kid’s Zone

• 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Britt Doehring sings and plays acoustic guitar

• 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Gold panning in the Kid’s Zone

• 12 to 1 p.m. – Stone Groove Strummers (doo-wop, jazz, vocals, ukulele)

• 1 to 2:30 p.m. – Reggae group Roots Vision

• 2:30 to 3 p.m. – United Studios of Self Defense martial arts exhibition

• 3 to 4 p.m. – Face painting in the Kid’s Zone

• 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. – Guitarist Tim Lee

• 4 to 5 p.m. – Exotic animal show by Pacific Animal Productions in the Kid’s Zone

• 5 to 5:30 p.m. – Cultural dance by Ballet Folklorico Citlali and tap dancing by the Toe Tappers

• 5:30 to 7 p.m. – Rock and blues by Crystal Sage Band

• 7:30 to 8 p.m. – Haircuts for Locks of Love

• 8 to 9 p.m. – Guitarist David McMaster

• 9 to 10 p.m. – Luminaria ceremony

• 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. – “Midnight Madness” games and activities

Sunday, June 22

• 6 to 7 a.m. – Stretching and Pilates with Lola Wheeler

• 7 to 8 a.m. – Breakfast prepared by North County Fire Explorers

• 8 to 9 a.m. – Closing ceremonies


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