Last Saturday, the students of Ojai Valley School came together for the third consecutive year on Buena High School’s football field. There were people on the track and field, in the bleachers, and in the stands that encircled the green turf. White luminarias traced the outer edge of the field and along the silver bleachers. The cool Ventura breeze felt nice against the heat of the sun.
The sound of drums filled the air as cancer survivors clad in purple shirts with the Relay for Life motto — “Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back” — launched the annual event.
The Relay for Life is a 24-hour event where money, awareness, and hope for cure for cancer are raised. People walk around the track, visiting the various fundraising booths set up by local schools and organizations.
This year, Ojai Valley School’s booth raised about $700. Ceramic mugs handmade by OVS ceramics teacher Jody Cooper, were sold and themed gift baskets organized by each class were auctioned off. Bright and festive tissue paper flowers lined the sides of the blue E-Z up to fit into this year’s Relay for Life theme: fiesta.
“I had a fun time walking and meeting survivors,” said OVS senior Reika Kijima. “Meeting those people and seeing the strength of the survivors inspired me.”
In fact, three seniors were inspired to stay on the overnight shift to continue walking until the event was over the next day.
“It was really tiring because we didn’t sleep very much,” said senior Lindsey Hanselman about her overnight stay. “But I felt really good because I felt like we had a very dedicated group of people that were not just there to be there, but there to actually help.”
Overall, the event was a success. Over a quarter of the student body participated in the relay. At the event, Ojai Valley School was awarded the bronze award for raising nearly $3,000.
These past three Relay for Life events have been a success for Ojai Valley School. However, this only marks the beginning. OVS plans on continuing this tradition to allow students to grow and learn while learning from this great experience.
Story by Serry Park, Class of 2012Share