THE RELAY EXPERIENCE
From bake sales to car washes and lots of social media posts, you’ll have plenty of fun raising funds and awareness well before your Relay For Life event.
Find your team and let the event begin! Most teams set up a tent for their home base, so you’ll always have a place to recharge, paint faces, or just grab some shade.
Kick things off right with an opening ceremony welcoming all the Relay participants. There may even be live music and special guests to help get you pumped for a day of remembrance and celebration.
First the survivors take a celebratory lap, with the crowd cheering them on. Then caregivers take their turn to get recognized for all they do to support their loved ones.
Once the event is in full swing, teammates take turns walking the track or path to symbolize the ongoing fight against cancer. Between laps, you can check out other teams’ tents for games and activities, and help support the cause by purchasing raffle tickets or food.
We light Luminaria to remember those we’ve lost, celebrate cancer survivors, and show everyone affected by cancer that we are the light in the darkness.
Last, but certainly not least, you’ll participate in a closing ceremony to recognize all our event volunteers, the community’s hard work, and the fact that our fight will keep going until the world is free from cancer!
HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE
Join a team before the event, or come out on the event day to celebrate survivors and support the fight against cancer.
It’s up to you to recruit members, set fundraising goals, organize fundraising activities, and most of all, cheer on your team.
Join an existing team and use your inspiring story to raise money and help fund everything from breakthrough cancer research to free rides to chemo.
We can’t pull it all off without our volunteers pitching in to do everything from setting up tents to lighting Luminaria. You can even take on a bigger role as part of our Event Leadership Team.
WHY I RELAY
“Three words to describe Relay for Life for me: community, fundraising, and tutus.” Watch Vicki and Amy’s Story
“It’s a gathering of people who are hurting and people who are there to help. And it makes it so nice that we have a Relay For Life everywhere.” Watch Deanna’s Story
“We've always had a big family and have been there for each other, so I support an organization who's there for people 24/7. Raising money for them, I feel like I'm doing something for all of my family.” Watch Brandi’s Story
“If we see sun coming through these clouds, it will be Emily with us. She'll be the one making us smile. There are going to be tears, but she'll be the reason we'll be enjoying the day.” Watch Jodi’s Story
DEDICATE A LUMINARIA
At Relay events, you’ll see Luminaria decorated with the names of loved ones, usually lining the track or path of the walk. After dark, each Luminaria is lit in honor or remembrance of a life touched by cancer, accompanied by a moment of silence for those we’ve lost.
Dedicating a Luminaria is not the only way to express your unwavering support. When you make a donation for a Luminaria, it helps the American Cancer Society continue to fight cancer on all fronts.
One person can make a difference. In May 1985, Dr. Gordon “Gordy” Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Washington, raising money to help the American Cancer Society with the nation’s biggest health concern: cancer.
Gordy spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track at the University of Puget Sound. Friends, family, and patients watched and supported him as he walked and ran more than 83.6 miles and raised $27,000 through pledges to help save lives from cancer. As he circled the track, he thought of how he could get others to take part. He envisioned having teams participate in a 24-hour fundraising event. The next year, 19 teams were part of the first Relay For Life event at the historical Stadium Bowl and raised $33,000.
After previously battling stomach cancer, Gordy passed away from heart failure on August 3, 2014 at the age of 71. But his legacy lives on. He shaped an idea that started as one man walking and running a track and helped turn it into a global fundraising phenomenon.
MORE ABOUT RELAY
Would you like to lead the team or join the team?
This isn’t what I wanted.
Cancer has touched all of us in some way. And we want to stop this disease in its tracks. We'll spend the next few weeks fundraising for the American Cancer Society. Then, on the day of the event, we'll honor the lives lost to cancer, celebrate survivors, and support the caregivers who so selflessly help others.
Together, we'll be a part of making a difference in this important cause.
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