The sixteenth annual Relay for Life fight against cancer walk begins tomorrow at 5 p.m. with a free dinner served in the Sertoma Food Stand.
Survivors will be asked to register for the event from 5 p.m. until the survivors take their honorary lap lead by co-honorary survivors Lyle Mortenson and Nancy Buckingham at 7:30 p.m.
A survivor is any person who has been previously diagnosed with cancer or currently lives with cancer. They are the guests of honor at each Relay for Life event and walk the first lap as a symbol that cancer can be beat.
The goal of Relay for life is to raise money and awareness for cancer research and treatment. Last year, the Watonwan County Relay for Life raised $108,861.06 for the cause and overall Watonwan County has raised more than $1 million total.
The walk is a great way for survivors to meet other survivors within the community and to show support for those individuals currently fighting cancer.
The Relay for Life organization invests more than $3.5 billion in cancer research each year and is the largest non-governmental investor of cancer research in the nation.
Opening ceremonies of the event will take place beginning at 7 p.m. As always, the luminaria that line the path of the walk will be lit, creating a path for survivors and supporters taking the walk this Friday.
The lighting of luminaria takes place in a ceremony called the Luminaria Ceremony. The ceremony takes place early in the event, but becomes especially moving when the sun finally sets and only the light illuminated from the bags surrounding the track can be seen.
Each bag represents a person who has fought against cancer – some who won and others who are honored after they lost their battle with cancer.
The bags, placed in close proximity with one another are yet another reminder of how many people are affected each year by cancer and why raising money for cancer research is still a vital cause. For each bag, still a dozen more people are affected in the community by cancer.
Until there is a cure for cancer the Relay for Life will continue to walk in order to raise money for research and treatment. More than 4 million people come together in events across the nation for the Relay for Life.
Following the survivor's walk, teams will take to the track in the Watonwan County Fairgrounds and continue walking until the event ends at 3 a.m. Each team is expected to have at least one member of the team on the track throughout the entire event. There are a total of 20 teams signed up for the Relay for Life walk so far.
Entertainment will be provided throughout the night with performances from (in order of appearance) Just for Kix Dancers, Attitude, Zumba with Beckie Haycraft and "Twilight Tunes with Cindy Mae" Karaoke.
Page 2 of 2 - The Relay for Life walk was created to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer. The strength of survivors inspires others to continue to fight. It was also created to remember loved ones lost to the disease.