Tents are up, booths are in place and the ferris wheel is running for the 5th annual Campout Against Cancer.
Hundreds, like Terry Lira, gathered to raise money for cancer patients in our community.
Lira lost her daughter, Melissa Flores, to breast cancer in 2008 one month shy of her 28th birthday.
“When she was diagnosed in 2005, this wasn’t available and so there were times where she could have used the assistance as far as co-payments and insurance and that type of thing,” Lira said. “So knowing that the funds here can help the people that need it that way makes us feel good.”
A year later, Lira lost her mom to stomach cancer.
Now fighting in their honor, “The Dream Team”, as the family call themselves, raised $3,800 for the Kern County Cancer Fund this year.
“Kern County is such a giving community when it comes to people in need and it’s good to be apart of that,” Lira said.
For the many survivors out there roughing it for the night, like former Olympic swimmer, Gabe Woodward, the community’s support means everything.
“It’s something that just affects everyone,” Woodward said. “It doesn’t matter who you are, what color, how much this or that you have or don’t have, everybody is affected and so it’s actually a uniting factor, because people getting treated need help, not just medical, emotional. It’s something you go through as a family, as friends, so it definitely united and hope it makes us stronger.”
Opening ceremonies are Saturday at 8:30 a.m. with the survivor walk to follow at 9 a.m.
New to the festivities this year will be a cornhole tournament, flower arrangement workshop, food vendors and more.
The entire event wraps up 4 p.m. Saturday.