The track at Conifer High School will be a beacon of hope and remembrance this weekend during the Mountain Area Relay for Life.
The yearly event is a chance for patients, caregivers, survivors and friends and family to remember and pay tribute to those affected by cancer. Money raised goes to the American Cancer Society.
The Mountain Area Relay for Life starts at 6 p.m. Friday and ends at 7 a.m. Saturday at Conifer High School.
This year’s event was originally scheduled at Evergreen High School but was moved to Conifer High because of construction issues.
“In some way or form, everyone has been touched by cancer,” said Jen Thompson, the event’s co-chair. “Participating is a really a great way to show support for someone who is going through this battle right now.”
After an opening ceremony, survivors and caregivers are invited to participate in the first lap around the track at 6:30 p.m.
At dusk, the luminaria ceremony will light up the track as participants remember those who have died from cancer and those still fighting it. A luminaria costs $10, and attendees are encouraged to bring a canned food item to put inside the bags to anchor them.
“We’ll be donating the canned goods to Mountain Resource Center and EChO,” said Kelley Karl, event co-chair.
This year’s theme is “Dance the Night Away,” and organizers are making sure that’s exactly what will occur.
“We’re planning on playing catchy songs every hour for dancing to help people stay awake and have fun,” Thompson said, adding that some “horrible” songs will be played as well.
“We’ll randomly start playing ‘Friday’ (by Rebecca Black) or ‘Gangnam Style,’ and people will have to donate an amount of money to make the awful song stop,” Thompson said.
Although it might be too late to form a team, there still are many ways to help.
“If you own a business, you can still sign up to be a vendor and host a booth (for $25),” said Jamie Gray, a volunteer for the Relay for Life. “We can still accept items for the silent auction.”
Thompson said people can show up and register to participate at the event. The minimum for an individual to register is $10.
“But no one will be turned away. Staying all night isn’t required, either,” she said. “You can show up for a bit and leave, walk alone or in a group. We welcome anyone to come out and participate.”
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Contact Daniel Laverty at 303-350-1042.