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Relay for Life now underway at Pleasanton Middle School

Survivors, families joining in 24-hour walk fundraiser to support the fight against cancer

The Pleasanton community is honoring cancer survivors and their families today during the annual Relay for Life now underway on the Pleasanton Middle School athletic track.

The day-long fundraising event features participants in teams taking turns walking laps around track for 24 hours -- a time-frame symbolizing that cancer never rests and that many cancer patients face sleepless nights after their diagnosis.

Ongoing through 9 a.m. Sunday, the Relay for Life is sponsored by the American Cancer Society and raises money to support cancer research and local groups who assist cancer patients during their treatment.

"The Relay For Life movement unites communities across the globe to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and take action to finish the fight once and for all," Relay for Life community manager Kristen Shelbourne said.

The event kicked off Saturday with an opening ceremony followed by the first lap, a celebratory lap walked by cancer survivors.

Other marquee moments include the luminaria ceremony at 9 p.m. tonight when candles are lit in honor of local residents who battled cancer, and the closing ceremony and a call to action in the fight back against cancer at 8 a.m. Sunday.

Each hour has a different theme encouraging walkers to dress up in costume while strolling down the track.

This year's lap themes include "Star Wars" and space, Hawaiian beachwear, pirate, "bling your bra," pajama party, Mardi Gras, crazy hair, zombie, superhero, zany socks and "the power of purple."

Relay for Life organizers have registered 17 teams and raised $32,000 so far for this year's event through online registration and donations.

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