Relay for Life kicks off Saturday

When you fight cancer, or provide love and support for someone in the midst of the battle, you are a superhero. So Superheros Fighting Cancer is the theme of this year’s annual Relay for Life, where Batman and Superwoman will be seen rounding the track as participants are being encouraged to walk in costume.

“Everyone who comes out is a superhero because we are all out here saving lives. That’s what we’re doing,” said event chair Josephine McGrane. The goal is to raise $165,000 for the American Cancer Society, as well as to provide encouragement and emotional support for all those whose lives are touched by cancer. McGrane is urging everyone to come to Sonoma Valley High School and experience the uplifting event, even those who have not registered in advance.

The high-energy opening ceremony is Saturday at 10 a.m., followed by the Survivors Lap, when all cancer survivors take the first lap around the track while music plays and supporters cheer their success. The names of survivors will be read aloud, and doves will be released. All cancer survivors are welcome to come, even if it’s a last minute decision. Fifty-eight fundraising teams will then continue to take turns making laps for 24 hours, walking all through the night in their fight against cancer.

The Luminaria Ceremony is at 9 p.m. and is a time to remember those lost to cancer, to support those who currently have cancer and to honor people who have fought cancer in the past.

The votive candles can be purchased and personalized at the event or online. It’s OK to just show up on Saturday, make a donation and put a loved one’s name on a luminaria to shine brightly in the night.

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