Cancer is a journey … you don't have to travel it alone. Nowhere was this more evident than at the Fourth Annual Relay for Life of Burbank on June 23 and 24 at Robert Gross Park, where community support reigned supreme.
The relay began in the mid-1980s when Dr. Gordon Klatt, a colorectal surgeon, wanted to enhance the income of his local American Cancer Society office. He decided to personally raise money for the fight by doing something he enjoyed — running marathons. In May 1985, Klatt spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track at Baker Stadium in Tacoma, Wash., for more than 83 miles. Throughout the night, friends paid $25 to run or walk 30 minutes with him. He raised $27,000 to fight cancer, and in doing so, began a relay that has no finish line until a cure is found.
Over 20 years later, relays are held in more than 4,500 communities worldwide and Burbank is one of them. Burbank's relay, organized by the Relay for Life of Burbank Committee chaired by Stephanie Ives, Lori Larson and Danella Putna, featured dozens of corporate sponsors, and volunteers. The Burbank Noon Kiwanis and the Burbank Jaycees were two of 40 teams participating in the relay. Team captain of the Burbank Noon Kiwanis, Gloria Sauer, stated, "We have about 25-plus members participating this year. Our group is dedicated to helping the youth and cancer effects even the littlest ones."