Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature event, raising over $400 million annually. Moab, one of about 5,000 communities to host a Relay for Life, will hold its event Aug. 8-9, 2008 at the Grand County High School track, said event chair Shon Walter.
Walter said Moab’s Relay for Life festivities will start at 6 p.m. Friday night and continue all night, ending at 8 a.m. Saturday. “The idea is that each team will have at least one participant walking on the track at all times,” he said.
The event takes place overnight because “cancer doesn’t ever sleep,” said Trish West, another organizer, who became involved with Relay for Life after her husband, Alan, survived an aggressive stage IV melanoma.
So far, the Moab event already has 14 teams and 74 participants signed up, with more being added.
Walter emphasized that the event’s focus is three-fold: celebrate, remember, and fight back. “We celebrate the successes of cancer survivors, we remember those loved ones whose lives have been lost to cancer, and we fight back by raising money to increase awareness and research,” he said.
Each participant is asked to raise a minimum of $100 individually, and assist their team in meeting their fundraising goal. Teams typically consist of eight -15 members, and participants can either join an existing team or start one of their own. So far this year, nearly $7,000 has already been raised by local teams, Walter said.
Teams will be out in full force over the next month and a half prior to the event, collecting donations in a variety of ways, West said.
“These dollars are going to help fight cancer,” said West, noting that the money is spent in research, education, advocacy, and patient services.
Team captains have been meeting regularly, and have already begun making dibs on their spots for their tent sites on the grassy field inside the 400-meter track around which the team members will walk.
“Let’s have fun with it, and have a great time,” said Melonie Dolphin, a cancer survivor herself who is serving as the event’s logistics chair.
“We look forward to having as many people and businesses involved as possible. We encourage the community to participate, and fight back against a disease that takes far too much,” said Walter.
For more information, contact Walter at 259-5626, or visit the event’s website at www.moabrelayforlife.org.