HEALTH NEWS

Relay for Life set for May 20-21

Posted May 03, 2011, at 10:28 p.m.

ORONO — Teams of community members will walk around the clock in the battle against cancer during the 18th American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Penobscot County beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, May 20, at Morse Field at the University of Maine.

Relay For Life is an overnight event where individuals and teams camp out at an athletic track, park or other gathering area, with the goal of keeping at least one team member on the track or pathway at all times throughout the evening.

Teams do most of their fundraising before the event, but some teams also hold creative fundraisers at their campsites during the relay. People from all walks of life come together to further the American Cancer Society’s efforts to save lives by helping people stay well and get well, by finding cures and by fighting back.

This is the first year that the 18-hour walking event will be located at the University of Maine. Previously, the event was held at the Old Town High School track, but because of the overwhelming generous support of community members, event organizers worked with the community and the University of Maine to move the event to Morse Field.

A luminaria ceremony held after dark to honor cancer survivors and to remember those the community has lost will be a highlight 10 p.m to midnight during the relay. The luminarias line the track and are left burning throughout the night to remind participants of the incredible importance of their contributions. The night also will feature fun games and entertainment for all ages, as well as advocacy activities. The event will wrap up at noon Saturday, May 21.

“Every year brings new people and new stories to this event,” said Chad LaBree, co-chairman for the Relay for Life of Penobscot County. “We’re excited about the new opportunities presented to us this year with the move to the University of Maine, but the focus will remain the same — to raise money to go toward cancer research, cancer prevention and programs for those battling the disease.”

Funds raised at Relay For Life enable the American Cancer Society to have an impact on the lives of those touched by cancer and support vital, cutting-edge cancer research; and provide cancer patients with services such as transportation to treatment, free lodging at the Hope Lodge, and round-the-clock support at the national cancer information at 800-227-2345.

For more information about Relay For Life or how to volunteer, contact Mike Hart, community executive for development, at 989-0332.

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