Residents from Boulevard Park Place Retirement Community have been participating in the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life fundraiser for the past eight years.
Boulevard Park Place, located on the east slopes of Burien, is a long-time supporter and sponsor of the American Cancer Society’s largest fundraiser for cancer research.
This year the Boulevard Park Place (BPP) team has once again joined the Highline Relay For Life Relay, which takes place June 12 at 7pm at the Highline High School Stadium in Burien, one of many communities throughout the nation participating in this annual event. The event runs until 2pm the following day.
Relay For Life offers the opportunity to celebrate the lives of people touched by cancer—those currently battling the disease, cancer survivors as well as remembered loved ones. And it offers a way to fight back by supporting much needed research.
The BPP team has several ways to support the cause, including the 32-member Walking Club, which includes some cancer survivors. Boulevard Park Place has pledged $1 for each and every mile that the team members walked throughout the year to be donated in their name to Relay For Life. Boulevard Park Place residents have been walking since February. The team, from ages 59 to 96, have logged in over 2,500 miles and counting.
“We set our goal at 3,000 miles from January through June 12th,” says Boulevard Park Place owner Ron Steinman. “At their current pace, they may exceed their goal! The average age of this group is 83 years old. One of the team members has exceeded 400 miles.”
The idea of the walking group is to allow more BPP residents to participate in the Relay fundraiser but do it at their pace instead of only participating at the June event. “We have set up several different walking courses around our eleven-acre campus,” says Ron. “Our team members are free to choose which pre-measured course to walk. Some started with just 100 yards each day. They can walk in the hallways if it is raining. Three individuals have exceeded 300 miles and one of our walkers goes as many as five miles a day.
“Three weeks after we started, one of our members came up to me and thanked me for starting the club,” he recalls. “She went on to explain that she used to walk, but had fallen into a depressed state and quit. After resuming walking, she reports that she feels better, is eating better, sleeps better and has regained her positive attitude. She is grateful for the BPP Walking Club and credits it for saving her life. That walker is currently averaging over four miles per day.”
Boulevard Park Place also hosts fundraising events at the community in order to donate even more to Relay for Life.
And one of the signatures of the Relay for Life is the luminary bags that line the track. Bags are individually donated in honor of (or in memory of) someone with cancer. The bags are placed around the perimeter of the track and are illuminated by candles. They stay lit all night guiding the walkers who will continue walking the track at night.
This year Boulevard Park Place set their goal at raising $10,000 for Relay For Life, and they believe they will exceed that total. Over the past eight years, the senior walking team and Boulevard Park Place have raised over $45,000.
Ron says of BPP’s participation in Relay For Life: “Cancer has affected almost every family, but more people than ever before are surviving cancer and celebrating more birthdays. Relay is a way for us to celebrate our cancer survivors, honor those in the middle of their fight and remember those who have been lost to this disease.
“We invite you to take part in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life in Burien on June 12th,” says Ron. “This is your chance to inspire others and honor the memory of friends and loved ones. Join us for this celebration of life… and sign up for the American Cancer Society Relay For Life. You won’t want to miss one moment of this life- and community-affirming event.”
Relay For Life teams consist of up to fifteen participants that take turns walking around a track. Entertainment, games, prizes and team-building experiences are all part of the fun.
For more information about Relay For Life or the June 12 event, visit www.highlinerelay.org.