The Brookings-Harbor High School track will be transformed into a campsite Friday complete with live music, refreshments and participants and volunteers decked out in purple and passionate about fundraising and raising awareness for cancer research.
As in years past, cancer survivors will take the first lap around the track during all-night event. The Pilot/Jef Hatch
The annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life in Brookings will be held Friday and Saturday at the BHHS track.
“Friday is a celebration for all of the hard work that everyone has done, and a commitment to the survivors, and making sure that we can do this again and eradicate cancer,” event coordinator Vanita Roland said. “That’s why all of these people stay up all night long.
“We’re really excited about Friday, and we invite all cancer survivors in the community to come. It’s not just for the survivors, their friends, their family. (It’s for) anyone who has been touched by it, and there’s a place for everyone.”
Relay for Life is a “celebration of life.”
The opening ceremony will begin at 7 p.m.
Grand Marshal La Vonne Peterson will give a speech and lead the survivor lap.
Cancer survivor Teasha Curren will speak too during the “Badge of Courage,” a new addition this year.
“We’re pretty excited, and we have quite a bit planned, especially for our survivors, because survivors are the heart of Relay. That’s why we do it,” Roland said.
But before the ceremony begins, a dinner will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. for participants and survivors. People who are not participating in Relay are welcome to attend for a donation.
A silent auction and dessert silent auction will be ongoing from 5 to 9 p.m. as well.
“We’re kind of excited about that,” Roland said. “This is our first year for the dessert auction.”
Once it’s dark at 10 p.m., the Luminaria Ceremony, a candlelight service that honors cancer survivors and remembers loved ones, will be held.
Earlier in the evening at 5 p.m., Luminaria bags will be available for a donation.
Throughout all of the festivities, from 4 p.m. to midnight, live entertainment will be provided.
Tony and Stephanie LaTorre, Scott Perry, Jerry Moffit and Carl Rovainen are among the entertainers. During the Luminaria Ceremony, Pamela Carrier will sing.
From 6 to 8 a.m. Saturday morning a breakfast will be provided. The closing ceremony will start at 8 a.m.
This year, 10 teams will participate.
Each team has planned activities, including a bounce house, baked goods sale and field games such as tug-of-war, Roland said.
Participants will be judged on their costumes, campsites and decorated relay batons.
The relay committee hopes to raise $65,000 this year. Last year, $45,000 was raised.
The money goes toward the American Cancer Society for different projects, including research, Roland said.
“When you relay, you raise money. Your neighbor or your loved one could benefit from it, so that’s why we do it,” she said. “I think it’s important that people know that folks here and not just in the city can benefit from such services.
“I encourage anybody who would like to come out Friday evening. Relay is a pretty touching event.”