The 2009 "Relay For Life" was an utter FIASCO

sniffles5's picture

Last night was the annual Relay For Life walk-a-thon at the Kiwanis fairgrounds next to Whitewater.

What a FIASCO.

First some background: traditionally hundreds of high school students show up for the 12 hour event (7 pm to 7 am). They are "locked in" for the night at the fairgrounds and take turns walking for charity and sleeping.

Well, last night there was a pretty nasty forecast calling for thunderstorms around 3 a.m.

Nevertheless, a great many intrepid students showed up to brave the weather, bringing rain gear, umbrellas, tents, and....

That's when it got ugly.

Officials came running up: "NO TENTS FOR STUDENTS!"

Excuse me? There's a thunderstorm coming in a few hours!

The officials were adament: No tents for students without parents present. Why? "Because hanky panky might occur".

Now, I know for a fact that there were students in tents for the past two years running, I've helped erect them myself.

I cannot believe those officials wanted people to camp out in the pouring rain in nothing more than sleeping bags just so "they could keep an eye on them".

I watched literally dozens of students make an anguished decision: stay out exposed in a thunderstorm all night or leave....

A great many students chose to leave and I don't blame them one bit

Whoever made that arbitrary decision to ban tents just for students without having the courtesy to inform people ahead of time did this community a great disservice.

In my mind, the 2009 Relay for Life was an utter FIASCO.

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Submitted by susanlst on Mon, 05/04/2009 - 12:20pm.

To Whom it May Concern:

I have been a member of the Relay Planning committee for 7 years. The rule of no teens in ENCLOSED tents has been in effect for every one of those 7 years. Ask your team captain, they were given those rules and it was discussed at Team Captain meetings. Obviously there is a very good reason for the rule, you are teenagers, with teenager hormones. Your parents are trusting us to watch over ALL of you during the night, even though we request each team have adult chaperones on site.
Now, regarding Saturday AM's rain. Your posting neglects to inform readers who were not at relay that the HUGE building on site was open and available to anyone who needed shelter from the rain. Everyone on site that night could easily have fit into the building. As soon as the rain started, I, and several other members of the Committee rushed to protect and put away the very expensive audio equipment that was donated and on-site for the night. Did you offer to come help? Did you offer to hold a tarp over our heads as we scrambled to protect thousands of dollars worth of equipment? Did you continue to walk the track, as others did? Or did you just decide to get angry and bad mouth an event that took months to plan?
Once the equipment was secured we set up the inflatable movie screen inside the building and put on a great, funny, contemporary movie. Did you come inside to watch? Or did you stay outside and pout? Did you offer to help those of us who were soaked while we set up the screen and equipment? I didn't think so.
So, what will you do next year? Why don't you join the planning committee and give us your input. We would love to have more youth on the committee. One of this year's chairperson's is pretty young himself, he's in the middle of college exams this week and last week, but he still found time to help organize an event that raised $350,000 for cancer patients, their families and YOU!

Submitted by AtHomeGym on Sun, 05/03/2009 - 12:53pm.

Finally! You have admitted that you participated in a public erection!

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Sun, 05/03/2009 - 3:29pm.

You trying to tell us you've never "pitched a tent" in public? Laughing out loud

Submitted by AtHomeGym on Sun, 05/03/2009 - 4:04pm.

Naw sniff, I'm more prone to pitching hissy fits.

borntorun's picture
Submitted by borntorun on Sat, 05/02/2009 - 4:42pm.

Puhleeze...while I agree the high school kids should have been allowed to sleep in tents when the rain came, I hardly think the fact that they weren't makes the whole 2009 Relay for Life a FIASCO.

Keep the bigger picture in mind, Snifs. Both awareness of cancer and money for research was the main objective and I think using those criteria, it was a success.

As someone who has been touched by cancer, I appreciate the work and many months of planning and preparation that goes into this event. There are people alive today who would not be without Relay.

No one on the planning committee gets one red cent for the time they put into this. Most of these volunteers have a relative or friend battling cancer or who have a relative or friend who lost their battle. So to beat up on them for a silly thing like tents is petty at best and stupid at worst.

Fyt35's picture
Submitted by Fyt35 on Sat, 05/02/2009 - 1:08pm.

Wow, what a shame that this occurred, these students who could otherwise be doing something else on a Friday night were run off! They wouldn't be there unless they had good intentions.

"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is".
Winston Churchill

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