[below: “Infinite Love,” living art created by Michelle & Heather Cotrupe in honor of their grandmother, Ramona Cotrupe, on the beach in Oceanside, CA, on a recent 4th of July]
My previous blog entry was about my Mother, Ramona Ann Cotrupe, who joined relatives and friends in Heaven just before Thanksgiving 2011 after a brave 12-year battle with colon cancer. Pretty much whatever I chose to follow it with would be so comparatively trivial as to border on ludicrous.
Except this: an invitation to join me at the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life (RFL), 21-22 April 2012, Mira Costa College, Oceanside, CA, USA. This is not a cause we recently adopted after Mom passed away. RFL, which I have joyously referred to as “The Run For Your Life” around those I know best, has been a labor of love for my family since the early 2000s. (My pet name for the event is a misnomer, because with a few strenuous exceptions participants walk, not run, the track.)
It’s one of the best times you can have while helping an incredibly worthy cause. This year at least one San Diego media star has committed to literally walking the walk with us, and others to covering it on live TV.
The event starts 10am Saturday with opening ceremonies honoring survivors and featuring special guests including Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood. You and your team enjoy light exercise with heavy doses of fun and fellowship: bounce house for the kids, games for everyone, luscious and healthy eats, raffle, silent auction, team fundraising and scintillating musical entertainment day and night. When nighttime is upon us, glowing luminarias light our way, each and every one bearing the name of a loved one who fought or is still fighting the good fight against the disease. As we solemnly circle the track together, dry eyes are in short supply.
Spirits rise again as your team enjoys camping-for-a-cause. Occasionally one of us gets crazy with a genuine fuel-fired Coleman lantern, but it’s mostly the flame of fellowship that lights the night. Sweet dreams all…unless you swap sleep for song by joining the into-the-night karaoke crew.
At sunup Sunday the great eats and activities continue. Mid-morning we gather together to honor the survivors; confer team and individual awards; and share smiles one last time as RFL comes to a close.
Yet at Relay For Life, as at the close of a Shinedown show, “It’s never goodbye. It’s just ’til next time.”
Join us. You’re going to love it.
American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life/OCEANSIDE:
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JEFF COTRUPE (XeeMe, @MarketPowerLLC) is a researcher, writer, marketer and product manager who has launched 20 products and services to help employers and clients generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, M&A and capital. Proudest achievements, always and forever: Michelle and Heather.