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Why We Participate in Relay For Life

Monday, August 15, 2016   (0 Comments)
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Jennifer Johnson-Joefield, Peninsula Community Health Services

The American Cancer Society Relay for Life movement is the world's largest and most impactful fundraising event to end cancer. It 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. It all started in 1985 in Tacoma, Washington.  Dr. Gordy Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma raising $27,000 to help the American Cancer Society fight the nation’s biggest health concern--cancer. A year later, 340 supporters joined the overnight event. Since those first steps, the Relay for Life movement has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, raising nearly $5 billion to fight cancer.  With the support of thousands of volunteers, the American Cancer Society is helping save more than 500 lives a day.

As a community health center it is important to be active in the community and support other partner organizations.  Participating in Relay for Life is a win-win-win event to get involved in.  Win number one, there are events literally everywhere!  Go to the main page at www.relay.acsevents.org and type in your zip code to find a list of nearby Relay for Life events.  Win number two, you will be supporting a fellow non-profit dedicated to more birthdays and ending cancer—something near and dear to all of us in preventative primary care!  Win number three, this family-friendly event outside work builds morale and comradery in the workplace.

Relay for Life is an organized, overnight community fundraising walk made up of teams of people who camp around a high school track.  Team members take turns walking around the track.  The goal is to have a team member present on the track the entire event (24 hours).  Many teams carry a baton around the track throughout the event.  Also during the event there are food, games, and family friendly activities for entertainment and community fellowship. Because it's a team event, individual participants are not required to be there the entire time. But it's so much fun, it’s hard to leave!

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