Inmates walk in the Relay for Life at CTF.

By Lt. Roland Ramon, AA/PIO
Correctional Training Facility

Central facility at the Correctional Training Facility (CTF) Soledad was the staging ground for the second Relay For Life Cancer walk, Fighting Cancer From Within, organized by The Balanced Reentry Activity Group (BRAG) and The American Cancer Society (ACS).

The event took place on the Central Yard, with 79 teams and 700-plus participants in attendance. This one-day event raised nearly $9,000 to help the fight against cancer, as well as bring awareness to the inmate population.

Nearly $5,000 of the donations were solicited/raised in part by inmates, with the remainder of the donations being contributed by the inmates’ family and friends via the Facility C Team BRAG page at the American Cancer Society/Relay For Life of Salinas website.

The June 10 event consisted of Presentation of Colors, Invocation, Survivors Testimony, Guest Speakers, Survivor/Caregivers Lap, Team Laps, Luminaria Ceremony and Closing Remarks.

A total of 50 free staff and outside volunteers from ACS-Relay for Life Salinas, Mentoring A Touch From Above (MATFA) and “Love thy Neighbor Movement” attended. Entertainment was provided by Ruben Torres, from “Love thy Neighbor” as he brought the Reggae Band I-Abide and DJ DSERN, who performed/played music in between guest speakers and throughout the day.

The event was made possible by a combined effort with BRAG Executive Body, CTF Administration, custody and free staff, ACS, various outside volunteers, and inmates working together for the greater purpose of fighting cancer.

The event wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Warden S. Hatton, Community Resource Manager A. Tamayo, Public Information Officer Lt. R. Ramon, Associate Warden K. Hoffman and BRAG sponsors N. Calderon and T. Pena.

Andy Nuno, from Chopper Stop Deli, donated lunch for all the volunteers. Branna Dobrzanski and her Relay For Life volunteers, free staff volunteers, MATFA (M. Washington/guests) and Love Thy Neighbor (R. Torres/Guests) made this a memorable event for the inmate population.

Luminaries line the walkway at CTF.