In Nome, Alaska, where I live, it has been a gorgeous Saturday, probably one of the nicest days we’ve had this summer: sunshine, highs in the 60s, a gentle wind. It’s a happy coincidence that today is also the kickoff day of our third annual Relay for Life, a 24-hour-long event sponsored by the American Cancer Society that raises funds for cancer research and urges cancer survivors, their family, and supporters to “fight back” against the disease.
Relay is a fun event. It’s not just a bracing call to arms in support of those battling cancer (although that’s certainly an important part of it) but also a way for our small town to come together: with music, food, a few games, and ample doses of common purpose.
The event is being held on Anvil City Square, situated around the meeting hall and former church known as Old St. Joe’s. This afternoon, while participants took turns in their relay around the town square – the walking, which will continue through noon on Sunday, is symbolic of a long but determined struggle against cancer – music echoed from the stage in front of Old St. Joe’s.
Since my house is literally a block away from the event, I could hear the faint strains of energetic pop songs – bass lines, amplified drum beats, electric guitar riffs – as I was editing these pictures.