A Relay Good Time

Few, if any, American Cancer Society events have been as successful as its annual Relay for Life event. From 6 p.m.-6 a.m., July 21-22, participants in the Vanderburgh County Relay for Life support the fight against cancer at the Metro Sports Center on Evansville’s East Side.

Don’t let the word “relay” scare you. Ryan Rigg, community representative for the American Cancer Society, says participants can walk one lap or watch people walk 100. The relay is sports themed, a tip-of-the-hat to the Olympics and the Metro Sports Center. The night kicks off with the opening ceremony, where survivors and caregivers are honored as they take the first laps. The luminaria ceremony is the “heart and soul of the relay,” says Rigg, as supporters honor those who fought and those who still fight against cancer. Lit inside paper bags, which bear the name of a person touched by cancer, candles light up the evening as many supporters walk a lap in silence

With games, themed laps (walking backwards, in pajamas, or both), and a silent auction, there are plenty of ways to stay active — and awake — at the overnight event.

Last year, there were two separate relays in Evansville that raised a combined $78,000. This summer, the relays have been consolidated into one event, with a fundrasing goal of $83,500. The majority of funds raised go to patient support: resources and referral information for people diagnosed with cancer who call the American Cancer Society’s toll-free number (1-800-227-3345). “We’re also the top fundraiser for cancer research and treatment,” says Rigg. “And a lot of our funds go to early detection.”

Participants can register at the relay on July 21 by calling 812-475-9486, or by visiting relayforlife.org/vanderburghcountyin.

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