Relay for Life renews tradition for more than 3m walkers

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Storm Lake Relay for Life is being held June 23 and 24, 5 p.m. to 5 a.m.

But what is a Relay for Life?

The American Cancer Society Relay for Life represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgoetten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day, cancer will be eliminated.

The facts:

Last year more than three million people in more than 4,400 communitieis nationwiude came together through Relay for Life.

Relay for Life is a symbol of the Society's greatest asset - Its legion of dedicated volunteers and generous donors. These everyday Americans make possible the Society's advances against cancer and sustain hope for every person facing the disease.

* The American Cancer Society Relay for Life is a celebration of life and cancer survivorship.

* Relay For Life is a unique team event designed to raise awareness about cancer and raise funds to suport the research, education, advocacy and patient services vital to the American Cancer Soceity's mission of eliminating cancer.

* Relay For Life is community-driven. It is a great way for the community to work together in the fight against cancer.

* Teams of people, including local businesses, friends, families, hospitals, religious organizations, and clubs gather at community sites and take turns walking laps.

* One of the really wonderful pieces of the Relay Foir Life program is the survivors' celebration, which is an integral part of each event. Each cancer survivor is introduced and all survivors complete the first lap around the track before being joined by the other participants. It's a really nice way for everyone to keep in mind why they are participating in Relay For Life.

* After nightfall, one of the main highlights of Relay For Life is the luminaria ceremony. hundreds of luminaria dedicated to loved ones line the track and are left burning to remind participants of the incredible importance of their contributions.

* Every dollar raised goes toward fighting cancer. Contributions to the Relay For Life help the American Cancer Society fight cancer in four main ways: research, education, advocacy and patient services.

* The American Cancer Society funds more than $100 million of cancer research a year.

* More than two-thirds of all cancer deaths are preventable and ACS teaches people every day how to live healthy lifestyles and get regular checkups.

* The American Cancer Society's advocacy initiative strives to influence public policies at all levels. ACS works to educate policymakers about cancer and how it affects the individuals and families they represent.

* The American Cancer Society is able to offer many programs and services to men and women in every community across Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin because of the support provided by Relay For Life.

* The first Relay For Life took place 21 years ago; since then, Relay participants have rallied their communities by celebrating survivors, remembering loved ones lost and raising funds to advance the fight against cancer.

* Cancer information and support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-ACS-2345 or on the website

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