Relay for Life, a focus on cancer fight today

Glynis Crawford Smith/The Highlander

Survivors lead the way at the kick off of the National Cancer Society Relay for Life Saturday afternoon, Sept. 16. The walk-a-thon, food for the family, games for the kids and information for all continues in Marble Falls Johnson Park until midnight.

Hill Country residents are joining together in Marble Falls today to raise money to fight cancer as the annual Relay for Life fundraiser that kicks off at 2 p.m. today, Saturday, Sept. 16, at Johnson Park, 230 Ave. J.

Relay for Life will continue until midnight. It is a team fundraising event where team members take turns walking around a track or designated path. At least one participant keeps on the track at all times to fulfill pledges for funds for the American Cancer Society made in the months leading up to the event.

The system mirrors the first run in 1985 in Tacoma, Washington. Dr. Gordy Klatt, a cancer surgeon, ran the entire 24 hours, but the support of friends that joined him each half hour, pledging funds to his cause, led to the organization of an annual event.

Relay walkers come from schools, companies, places of worship and other organizations, all joining together for the annual event to benefit the fight against the disease that claims more than half a million Americans each year.

Each team sets up a themed campsite at the event and continues their fundraising efforts by collecting donations for food, goods, games, and activities. This money will count towards their overall team fundraising goal.

The event will start with opening ceremonies which celebrate everyone who has been affected by cancer. Whether someone has been diagnosed for 10 days or been cancer-free for 10 years, they are recognized by the crowd, who cheer them on to victory over this disease.

Immediately following the opening ceremony is the survivors' lap, which honors the strength of those who define courage and inspire those facing their own cancer diagnoses with each step the survivors take around the first lap.

Also at 2 p.m., there will also be a “Bark for Life” canine carnival at the Johnson Dog Park. A $20 donation is suggested upon entry. The Bark for Life event will go until 6 p.m.

After it gets dark, there will be a luminaria ceremony. Each luminaria bag represents a loved one lost to cancer and brings support to those affected by cancer while honoring the survivors. This powerful moment gives people the opportunity to grieve but also offers hope and comfort.

A closing ceremony is scheduled for 11:45 p.m. to celebrate what has been accomplished together and to remember what has been lost as everyone commits to take action to help end the pain and suffering of cancer.

For more information, contact Jayne Palmer at 512-919-1810 or at


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