Shannon Streich, Graphic Designer at Vivid Image, has been helping her son’s Boy Scout Troop clean up after the Relay for Life of McLeod County for the past couple of years. Each year, Shannon has been able to talk more with the workers who are in charge of the event and learn about the impact it makes in the Hutchinson, Minnesota and surrounding community.
“Relay for Life has always been something I have been interested in but it wasn’t until two years ago when my father was diagnosed with cancer that I was really moved to try to help those who were dealing with similar struggles in their life.”
For Shannon, the event has recently taken on a more personal meaning. She explained, “Relay for Life has always been something I have been interested in but it wasn’t until two years ago when my father was diagnosed with cancer that I was really moved to try to help those who were dealing with similar struggles in their life.”
The Power of a Community coming Together
Shannon loves being involved in the Relay for Life’s events and seeing people come together, “Usually the thing I like most about this event is walking on the trail of lighted bags and seeing how bringing together the loss of so many amazing people and all of that heartache can create such an absolutely stunningly beautiful and positive creation – it is breathtaking to see and very powerful. It is a time to laugh and cry and share memories, eat food, play fun games and feel a true sense of the community wrapping their arms around you and offering support to all who need it.”
Volunteering with Meaning
As an event volunteer, Shannon has helped by putting on a Relay for Life garage sale, as well as at the Survivors Dinner. This year at Relay for Life, Shannon was also able to be a parking lot driver for part of her shift. Her favorite part of the night was getting to hear her riders’ stories. Shannon realized, “It gave me such peace to hear the positive spin and hope that people could put on their journey through this horrible disease. Cancer doesn’t only effect the person battling, it effects everyone that cares for that person in such a profound way.”
The Feeling from one Night can Last All Year
Relay for Life may be just one night, but the feeling of hope and support lasts much longer. Shannon sees the enormous positive impact, “It’s a time to make something positive out of something horrible – for everyone to reach out, share, support and reassure each other that no one is alone in this journey – there is support available and that there is hope for a brighter future.” Shannon is hopeful, “One day we will find a way to beat this thing.”
Relay for Life is a fundraiser held through the American Cancer Society. This annual event is scheduled to happen again on August 5th, 2016 at Mason West River Park in Hutchinson, Minnesota. For more information, please visit the Relay for Life of McLeod County website or Facebook Page.