Sonoma walkers – all shapes, sizes and speeds, morning people and night owls — go around the clock in the battle against cancer during the American Cancer Society Relay For Life. The 24-hour event begins Saturday, August 3 at 10 a.m.
The celebration of life brings together groups and individuals concerned about cancer for a unified effort to fight back against the disease. Teams of participants, backed by the pledges of supporters, will walk the track at Sonoma Valley High School in an overnight relay.
“Relay For Life is as much an awareness raiser about the progress against cancer as it is a fundraiser,” said Josephine McGrane, event chair.
It allows participants to celebrate the lives of those who have faced cancer, remember loved ones lost and fight back against the disease. “Relay For Life is a reminder that progress has been made in the fight against cancer and that everyone who participates is making a difference,” McGrane said.
The event Relay For Life opens as cancer survivors (anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer) walk or wheelchair the first lap. This emotional moment gives way to the festive, camp-out atmosphere that develops around the track area.
Highlighting the evening is the Luminaria Ceremony held after dark to honor cancer survivors and to remember those who have lost the battle against cancer. The luminaria line the track and are left burning throughout the night to remind participants of the incredible importance of their contributions.
Many of the participants will be people who have been dealt with cancer themselves, said McGrane. Their involvement is proof of the progress that has been made in reducing cancer death rates and in the quality of life following cancer treatment.
A member of each team must be on the track at all times, even the lonely early morning hours, but each lap means more money for the cause.
“The funds raised will enable us to continue our investment in the fight against cancer through educational programs, research and services to patients,” said Jackie Lyons, event co-chair. “Due to the generosity of sponsors, the money raised by participants goes directly to the American Cancer Society’s lifesaving programs.”
For information about Relay For Life contact 996-1305, Relayjo@comcast.net or RelayForLife.org/sonomaCA.