Posted by Editor: Erik Piro
July 13-14,  2019
Relay for Life of the Pacifica Coastside
Article by: Erik Piro
Photos by: Erik Piro & Elizabeth Schucks
This past weekend, the Rotary Club of Half Moon Bay participated in Relay for Life of the Pacifica Coastside, the American Cancer Society’s signature fundraiser event dedicated to helping communities attack cancer.  The event was held on the baseball field of Terra Nova High School in Pacifica, where an approximate 325 people participated from a variety of different clubs, businesses, and organizations in the area.
6 Rotarians formed the the team (Rose Serdy,  Erik Piro, Joe Brennan, Mary Rogren, Paul Wrubel, and Liz Schuck) Liz's partner Teri and four other friends (Anita Currer, Tanya and Steve Goldberg and Joe Strecker).  As a Club, we raised $2,431.21 and Erik Piro was congratulated for being the Club's top fundraiser with $1,075.  Way to go, Erik!
The day started out with the Opening Ceremony, which was a chance to welcome all the Relay participants and get pumped for a day of remembrance and celebration.  This was followed by a single lap by Survivor and Caregivers before Relay Teams had a chance to do a lap and represent their team with banners.
After the Team Lap finished, it was time for everyone to celebrate by taking turns walking the track to symbolize the ongoing fight against cancer. Between laps, there were team tents with games and activities, which further helped the cause.
At noon, everyone was treated to a lunch of hot dogs, chips, and soda.  It was wonderful to enjoy a small break under the Rotary canopy before continuing to walk.  And while walking, we also had the chance to meet and talk with a variety of people, some even sharing their own cancer story.
As the evening hours began, everyone enjoyed a street taco dinner before gathering at the stage to witness the Luminaria Ceremony.  This was a chance for everyone to witness the lighting of the luminarias which lined the track, a chance to remember those we’ve lost, celebrate cancer survivors, and show everyone affected by cancer that we are the light in the darkness.  As a bagpiper played, everyone took a silent lap around the track to view the luminarias and remember.
While 5 Rotarians went home for the night, Erik Piro stayed and walk into the night.  He walked until 1:30AM on Sunday morning before camping in his tent under the Rotary canopy.  When he woke up in the morning at 6AM, he walked more laps until the Closing Ceremony.  In all, Erik Piro walked 134 laps...that's a total of 22 miles!  Simply an incredible achievement!
To end the event, a Closing Ceremony was held. This was a chance to recognize all the event volunteers, the community’s hard work, and the fact that the fight will keep going until the world is free from cancer!  After one final lap, it was time for Erik Piro to head home and rest his feet (with blisters) for the day.