AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“It was touching, it was sad, it was very innocent.” Lesa said. Lesa was awarded the “Spirit of the Relay” award at the closing ceremonies. About 600 people attended. The American Cancer Society raised more than $61,000 for cancer research, prevention, education, early detection and patient services. Participants were shocked by the amount, considering $20,000 was initially expected. 32 teams were registered for the relay. Each team was given space in the inner field for tents, tables and chairs, and was required to have at least one person walking on the track at all times. The event also featured food, music, movies and other entertainment. Whittier City Councilman Owen Newcomer, a survivor of prostate cancer, led the first lap with all cancer survivors attending. WHITTIER – In an almost haunting silence, hundreds of people marched along the Whittier College track last Saturday night during a luminaria ceremony at the Relay for Life. Participants walked slowly behind a bagpipe player, as they walked around the track that was lit up by glow sticks in small bags. Printed on each bag was the name of someone who has died from or survived cancer. The 24-hour relay began at 9a.m. Saturday. The American Cancer Society spearheaded the fundraising event to bring awareness to the number of lives affected by cancer. One of the most emotional events was the luminaria ceremony held halfway through the relay. Being a survivor of breast cancer, Barbra Lesa, 63, was moved by the ceremony. As she walked, Lesa said she reflected on how much her family did for her, and her former boss, Dan Hulbert, who died of pancreatic cancer at 58 last April. This was the fifth time the relay was held in Whittier, and the second time at Whittier College.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!