Saturday, October 10 , 2015, 12:42 pm | Fair 88º

Teams to Kick Off Cancer Society Relay For Life on Saturday

Supporters use their hearts and feet in battle against cancer

By Lindsey Lockshaw for the American Cancer Society |

In its 13th year, walkers will go around the clock in the battle against cancer during the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Santa Barbara.

Teams of Santa Barbara residents will gather at Bishop Garcia Diego High School at 10 a.m. this Saturday, April 21, for an overnight relay against cancer. Relay For Life is a family-oriented team event where participants walk relay-style around the track and take part in fun activities off the track. Teams can include coworkers, organization members, family and friends and have gathered donations prior to the event.

This year, there are many local entertainers coming out to support Relay For Life and perform on stage for the participants throughout the day. Activities are scheduled for youngsters and adults on the track to keep everyone active and excited all day long. Even if you can’t put together a team, come check out the event and support your local community by walking for an hour or so or participating in the team fundraisers around the track.

“We guarantee that you will be inspired to fight back against cancer long after the event is over because of the camaraderie and spirit created around the track,” Relay For Life manager Lindsey Lockshaw said. “This event is something that you don’t want to miss.”

“Relay For Life is a unique opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember those we’ve lost, and fight back against the disease,” said Jaime Espinosa, Relay For Life event chair.

Advocacy chair Lucille Ramirez added: “Many of the participants are cancer survivors (anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer), which serves as a reminder that our community is not immune to this disease and we can actually help our friends, families and neighbors that have been touched by cancer.”

Cancer survivors and their caregivers are invited to come to the Survivor Breakfast at 9 a.m. and walk in the infamous Survivor Lap to start off the event at 10 a.m. Their strength and courage help the community celebrate the fact that we are making progress in the fight against cancer.

The public is also invited to attend the Luminaria Ceremony, which will take place after sundown, about 9 p.m. This ceremony honors the community’s cancer survivors and to remember those lost to the disease. Survivors will circle the track rimmed with glowing luminaria while the names of survivors and those lost to the disease are read aloud. Luminaria can be purchased for $10 on the day of the event or click here to order online.

Funds raised at Relay For Life will enable the American Cancer Society to support local services and resources for cancer patients and their families. Funds also support critical cancer research and community education programs designed to teach people how to reduce their risk of developing cancer.

Relay For Life events will be held in more than 450 communities throughout California, raising $30 million for the fight against cancer each year for the past several years. To locate a Relay For Life event and find out how you can get involved, click here or call 800.ACS.2345.

— Lindsey Lockshaw represents the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Santa Barbara.

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