Some hope in the darkness

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 13, 2011

By David Vitrano


LUTCHER – Lutcher Recreation Park was teeming with life well after the sun went down Saturday as the St. James Relay for Life event brought scores of people to the grounds to do their part to fight cancer.

According to Cindy Ordeneaux, one of the event’s organizers, about 30 teams participated in the event. Most stuck to the event’s sports theme, with individual teams dressed as fishermen, referees and NASCAR drivers, among others.

“We had a tremendous turnout,” said Ordeneaux, who got involved with Relay for Life after her mother lost her battle with breast cancer. “We raised a lot of money.”

The initial money total is in the ballpark of $160,000, but expenses still have to be paid out of that amount.

This year’s event featured live music and entertainment, and the St. James version of the event boasted two different types of luminaries to honor both cancer survivors and those who have succumbed to the disease. In addition to the usual white luminaries that lined the track, after the sun went down the sky was lit with multicolored, miniature hot air balloons. The lanterns dotted the blackness of the sky and provided a visual representation of the hope that events like Relay for Life provide in the vast darkness that cancer can cast over one’s life.

The St. James Relay for Life also had a volleyball tournament and an all-male pageant.

“I thought it went very well,” said Ordeneaux.