Photo Information

Lieutenant Colonel Bennett Walsh, executive officer of 6th Marine Corps District, stands with his daughter and a volunteer dressed up as Obi-Wan Kenobi during Relay for Life at Battery Creek High School in Beaufort, S.C., May 17, 2013. Many volunteers dressed up in different costumes for the event, with the theme being a Fantasy World without Cancer. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Stanley Cao)

Photo by Pfc. Stanley Cao

Marines Shine Through for Cancer Survivors during Relay for Life.

22 May 2013 | PFC Stanley Cao

Hundreds of volunteers came together to participate in Relay for Life, as they gathered around the Battery Creek High School football field, Friday May 17, 2013. One of the many participating teams in attendance was the Pacesetter Relay Team.                

Marines and sailors from the 6th Marine Corps District, Parris Island and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort took time out of their weekend to volunteer and participate in this twelve-hour, worthwhile event.           
At Relay for Life events, volunteers from the local community gather to honor cancer survivors and loved ones who fought against the disease. Also, Relay for Life events fundraise money nationwide for cancer research and help spread cancer awareness.          
One of the many well-known events at the Relay for Life event is the Survivor’s Lap. During this event, cancer survivors and participants walk a lap around the track to honor those who have successfully fought cancer.           
The Pacesetters Relay Team dominated the high school track, coming in first place with a total of 92 walkers. At the end of the event, the Pacesetters logged a total of 1,550 laps, 387.5 miles and 937,000 steps, beating the second best team who came in at 67,000 steps.   “At current count, the Pacesetters hit $2,495 over the estimated goal, pushing past $700 raised at Relay alone, and this total does not include the $250 prize money for Count.” said Christy Cerny, the team captain of the Pacesetter Relay Team.     
Three individuals, also known as the “men in pink,” contributed greatly to the total amount of laps accumulated throughout the night. Lance Corporal John-Paul Imbody, a photo specialist and native of Fort Wayne, Ind., assigned to 6MCD, Lance Cpl Donovan Roberts, a data clerk and native of Clarksville, Tenn., also assigned to the 6MCD, and Hospitalman Zachary Gordon, a dental assistant at the Parris Island dental clinic and native of Chesapeake, Va., each ran 105 laps; the equivalence of 26.2 miles or a marathon.    
“There are two ways to spread light, be the candle or the mirror that reflects it,” said Roberts after enduring the long run.  In this illustration, the “men in pink,” where the candle, shining brightly for not only their fellow teammates in achieving their goal in accomplishing the most steps and raising the most money, but for cancer survivors and those currently fighting the disease, letting them know that the Pacesetter Relay Team is willing to go the distance in showing them support.              
“No matter which direction we look, it is above and beyond 100 percent success for the Pacesetters,” said Cerny.  “Every step counts toward the cure for cancer, every ounce of hope counts, and every person willing to sacrifice their time to come out and be part of something bigger than themselves counts.”
6th Marine Corps District