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Everyone invited to Relay for Life

Published: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 12:59 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 12:59 p.m. CDT

The Relay For Life of Clarke County is scheduled 6 p.m. Friday, June 14, to 6 a.m. Saturday, June 15, at Clarke County High School track in Osceola.

The Relay For Life is the signature fundraiser of the American Cancer Society. Relay events are held throughout Iowa in the spring and summer months. It is estimated Relay for Life events have raised more than $3 billion since the first Relay was held in Tacoma, Wash., in 1985.

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

This is the inaugural event for Relay for Life of Clarke County, where teams camp out overnight and members take turns walking or running around a track, so at least one person is participating at all times. A committee of local volunteers have been meeting since November to plan the relay.

“The goal of the Relay For Life of Clarke County is to raise $20,000 to help fund research to find cures for all types of cancer” said Karen Irwin, the event chair.

Irwin has been Relaying for more than 20 years and has chaired events in Minnesota in the past.

In addition to fundraising, Irwin would also like the event to help educate the public on the services available from the American Cancer Society. Another goal for the local Relay was to have 14 teams. As of June 1, 24 teams and over 200 participants had registered to participate.

A cancer survivors’ lap will be part of the opening ceremony which begins at 6 p.m. June 14. All those who have survived cancer are invited to walk or jog the opening lap.

A luminaria ceremony will begin at dusk that day. Candles inside white bags with the names of those who have died from cancers, or in honor of those who have cancer or recovered from cancer, are placed along the inside of the track.

Throughout the event there will be a variety of activities including bands, dance studio demonstrations, team fund raisers and lots of kid’s activities including a bounce house and face painting. Hy-Vee will be providing an evening meal where all proceeds will go to the relay.

Teams and individuals participating in the Relay For Life of Clarke County may register in advance, but may also register at the event. Participants collect pledges and each team generally schedules at least one of its walkers or runners to be on the track at all times. The event concludes at 6 a.m. Saturday.

To purchase luminaria for a suggested donation of $10 each, email Niki Black at nikiblack14@yahoo.com. For more information, visit relayforlife.org/clarkecountyia or www.facebook.com/RelayForLifeClarkeCountyIa.

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