Ready your teams, Relay For Life is coming
|Walkers take to Lassen High School's track as the Relay For Life begins. This year's event is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 4.File photo|
May 15, 2012 — Susanville’s Relay For Life is in full swing for the 2012 fundraising campaign and the main 24-hour event “Fighting to celebrate more birthdays” is scheduled forSaturday, August 4 through Sunday, August 5, at the Lassen High School track.
Sarah Garate, chair of Susanville’s Relay For Life, said some teams have already formed and have begun fundraising efforts but there is plenty of time for individuals and businesses to get involved and help raise funds for cancer research and expenses for cancer patients such as traveling and accommodations.
Garate said the American Cancer Society sponsors the Relay For Life fundraising campaign.
She said she became involved in Relay For Life after being introduced to the volunteer program through her job at Banner Lassen Medical Center (BLMC).
And she has a personal connection because her father is a cancer survivor and her grandfather succumbed to the disease.
According to Garate, the Relay For Life program began seven years ago and she has personally participated since 2006.
Garate said as an example for team names and causes, the 2011 BLMC Relay For Life Team was cleverly named “Go Lightly” and their fundraising efforts went toward colon cancer research.
She said the volunteers and their team members compete in friendly, community oriented fundraising events, like bake sales, garage sales, car washes, bowling tournaments and sock hops which lead up to the main event of Relay For Life.
During the main event, all participating teams gather at 10 a.m. Saturday and walk until 10 a.m. the next day.
Garate said the concept is a cancer patient fights 24 hours a day for their life so the volunteers give 24 hours of their lives, fighting to celebrate more birthdays.
She said each team has to have at least one person walking on the track at all times during that 24-hour period.
The fundraising goes on through the night until the 7:00 a.m. cutoff to gather and tally all the funds received so the winners can be announced at the end of the relay.
The ultimate goal of the competition is a common good, to raise as many funds as possible to donate to the cancer charity of each team or individual’s choice.
The three top fund-producing teams will be rewarded by achieving gold, silver or bronze status for their team through Relay For Life.
Garate said one of the teams is planning a fundraiser that will be a 3-hour mini relay called Bark For Life.
The idea stems from the American Cancer Society who also works toward research and treatment of cancer for dogs.
Garate said she is excited about this event and said she believes the community will respond generously because Susanville residents are big on loving their pets. She said to watch for upcoming announcements and event details in local advertisements.
Deb Vanderbyl is the online administrator chair for the Susanville Relay For Life website, email and internet communication.
Vanderbyl said she got involved with the program because her cousin, Steve, died after battling cancer in long a hard fight.
She said she feels privileged to have been with him at his bedside as he passed and she is now dedicated to her volunteer work for Relay For Life.
Vanderbly said you can learn more about Relay For Life by visiting the website relayforlife.org where you can find local events by searching a city or zip code.
You will be directed to your local web page where you are welcome to send her a personal email at firstname.lastname@example.org questions and comments or for registration of new teams and their members.
Garate said Wednesday, May 9, was Paint the Town Purple in Susanville, and many individuals, local businesses and merchants participated by showing purple in support of Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society’s campaign “Fighting To Celebrate More Birthdays.” Garate said she is pleased with the outpouring of support in our community and looks forward to a great competition this year.
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