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Relay For Life

May 28, 2009
Maui Weekly

The Maui Chapter of the American Cancer Society will host its annual fundraiser, Relay For Life, at three events in three locations on Maui in June, July and August. Each year, more than 3.5 million people put their hearts and “soles” to work during Relay For Life events in thousands of communities across the nation.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), one in three people will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. As the society’s signature event, the fundraiser has raised millions of dollars for cancer research, treatment and education. The all-night event is a testament to the ongoing fight to find a cure for cancer, in addition to the strength and courage of cancer patients and their families.

And this is no ordinary year for Relay For Life, as 2009 marks the 25th anniversary of the event—a significant milestone in the fight against cancer. To commemorate this anniversary, ACS will sponsor a variety of on- and off-site “Show Us Your Hope” activities that reflect the passion of relay participants in Maui County and beyond.

Relay For Life originated in 1985, in Tacoma, Wash., when Dr. Gordy Klatt, a colorectal surgeon, decided to raise funds for his local society office by running in an all-night marathon. After an exhausting 24-hour, 83-mile run around a college track, the sweaty young surgeon had raised more than $27,000 in donations from family, friends and patients. So began the annual Relay For Life, which now takes place in communities across the nation and in 19 countries around the globe.

According to the ACS Website, the event provides “a time and place where people come to celebrate those who have survived cancer, remember those we’ve lost, and fight back against a disease that touches too many lives.” Each step taken during the Relay For Life is a step towards finding a cure for a disease that has stolen millions of lives. And participants will find there is no shortage of fun and entertainment. In an atmosphere of camaraderie, team members set up tents at the site of the event, and take turns walking or running around a relay course. Teams must have one member on the course at all times during the event, which can be any length of time—but as an overnight event, teams must have a representative on the course for 24 hours. In addition to the relay, participants are welcome to attend the Ceremony of Hope, during which candles are lit in bags called luminaria to honor those who survived and those who may have lost the battle. Each luminaria lit during the Ceremony of Hope represents an enduring light of hope, the hope that someday we will find a cure.

The Maui Chapter of the American Cancer Society invites the entire Maui community to take part in this incredible experience. Whether you choose to volunteer at one of the events, walk a few laps around the track, or make a tax-deductible donation, your contribution will help save lives and send a message of hope to millions of men, women and children around the globe. Most importantly, each Relay For Life event is a reminder that the fight against cancer is a team effort—and that those who battle this terrible disease will never stand alone.

Maui Relay For Life events will take place on Saturday, June 20, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., at the War Memorial Stadium; Saturday, July 11, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. at the Kenolio Recreation Complex; and Saturday, July 25, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. at the Lahaina Recreational Center Field II.

To make a donation, sponsor an event, register as a team captain, or join an existing team, visit Volunteers are needed for each of Maui’s upcoming Relay For Life events. For more information, contact (808) 244-5553



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