Sycuan Casino Supports Relay for Life El Cajon

May 9, 2016

Relay for Life El Cajon
Since 2009, Sycuan Casino has been a proponent and supporter of the American Cancer Society (ACS). As a presenting sponsor for ACS’s 24-hour Relay for Life El Cajon, Sycuan knew that its employees would get behind such an important cause. Now, 150+ walkers strong with team members from the Casino and their family members supporting, the legacy of a close friend of the casino lives on.
This year’s race on Saturday, May 14 has been dedicated to the late Lyn McFarland, who recently passed away and was a close friend of the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation tribal members. In year’s past, her enthusiasm and drive for perfection permeated every aspect of the event that she touched. It was her personal connection to the Relay that introduced the casino to the organization’s cause. Even while fighting her own battle with cancer she displayed selfless energy and a genuine care for “her walkers”. If it were not for her introducing ACS’s mission to Sycuan, employees like Richard Phillips would not feel the support he had since cancer was detected in his body.
Phillips shared with Giving Back Magazine part of his ordeal. “In 2012, I was experiencing some health issues and went to the doctor for some tests. While conducting tests for something unrelated, one of my doctor’s noticed something unusual in my kidney area. He sent the test to a specialist and I was referred to a urologist. The urologist confirmed that it was cancer and that they needed to take care of it right away.”
Thankfully, when Phillips had nowhere to turn to and felt alone it was the American Cancer Society’s website that gave him support. The organization’s Cancer Survivor Network was a perfect avenue for the Guest Relations Shift Manager to connect with others experiencing the same situation via the online community.
Phillips comments, “The people of this community ranged from supporters, to cancer fighters, to cancer survivors. They were all encouraging each other and answering questions. It was so great to be with others who have or had gone through the same things I was going through. Without this support from ACS, I would not have received the help I needed during that time.”
Along with Phillips, Sycuan Casino has continually had the largest teams at the Relay, which will take place in their backyard at El Cajon Valley High School. The all-day, 24-hour race has teams taking turns walking without losing a beat. Set up in tents and rolling up in their R.V.’s, Sycuan’s employees and supporters set-up for a weekend of giving back.
“On behalf of the American Cancer Society, we thank Sycuan Casino for their unconditional support for the Relay For Life of El Cajon. Their generous contributions allow us to help our neighbors with vital programs and services, and to fund cancer research studies taking place here in San Diego County and around the nation. Their ongoing sponsorship allows us to provide local one-to-one support of patients through services like our transportation program, Look Good Feel Better for women fighting cancer, and a world class 24/7 cancer information line. We are incredibly grateful to have such a great community partner. Thank you Sycuan Casino,” said Katie Foster, Community Manager for Relay for Life.
Additionally, Sycuan provides nutritional meals for the all the weekend’s warriors as part of their in-kind donation to the Society. Tickets for the dinner are just $10 and all funds raised go directly back to the El Cajon Relay. To keep the momentum in pace Relay organizers host additional activities like square dancing, movies and even lighting luminaria bags keep everyone having a great time while helping others in the process.
With the path lit at night with messages of hope written on the bright sacks, it helps remember those who have passed away from cancer and honor those who are currently battling the disease, all while fundraising for the cause. The luminaria ceremony is a perfect reminder to all participants that cancer never rests or sleeps, much like the efforts of Sycuan Casino.
This year, Sycuan is inviting the community to join in the walk with them. Phillips concludes, “I love being on Team Sycuan. It makes me so proud to know that the company I work for is one of the largest contributors to the Relay For Life in El Cajon. And it is not just the financial support! Many of my fellow team members come out and participate and show their support as well. It is so great to see that the company, as well as the team members, are on the same page when it comes to this event. It makes me so proud to go to this event and see a large group of people wearing Team Sycuan shirts showing support to me and this great cause.”
For more information or to register visit: www.relayforlife.org/elcajonca
Saturday May 14, 2016
El Cajon Valley High School