Relay For Life raises awareness, funds for cancer research
CARBONDALE, Colorado – Young Blake Kurtz was all smiles and brought many a smile to others during last year’s Roaring Fork Relay For Life Survivors Lap, a special lap honoring cancer survivors that traditionally kicks off the American Cancer Society fundraisers held around the country.
This Friday, Blake will surely be smiling from above when survivors and Relay For Life teams again line up to circle the track at Carbondale Middle School all night long to raise awareness and funds for cancer research and local support programs.
In April, at age 4, Blake lost his battle with cancer. Several of his family members will be among the special speakers following the luminaria ceremony at 9 p.m., when candles in white paper bags scrolled with the names of survivors and those who’ve died from cancer, encircle the track and are lit in their honor and memory.
Also speaking will be Dendy Heisel of Glenwood Springs, a caregiver to her father before he died of cancer. Her mother was also diagnosed a few months after that experience with cancer.
It will be a time for reflection, as participants also remember one of last year’s speakers, longtime Carbondale resident John Palmer, who recently died as well after a prolonged battle with cancer.
It is for them, after all, that they walk.
The Relay For Life is a team event to fight cancer, where family members, co-workers and friends take turns circling the track through the night – a symbol of the ongoing struggle against cancer.
Teams have been raising donations leading up to the event and will have a variety of onsite fundraisers to raise additional money.
“Many teams are doing dinner things, so folks can stop by, eat dinner and support us at the same time,” event chair Julia Spencer said. “Also new this year will be a silent auction on the track from 7:15-8:15 p.m.”
The opening ceremony takes place at 6:30 p.m. with special speakers including mayors from Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt.
A special survivors reception takes place at 7 p.m., and the luminaria ceremony is at 9 p.m. with live music by Yvette Lamoreux MacEachen. The public is invited to stop by at any time. Luminarias can also be purchased on site for $5 and dedicated in memory or honor of someone. For more information, call Laura Edgar at (970) 274-4519 or visit http://www.relayforlife. org.
Throughout the night, teams will be camped out on site and will be participating in a variety of activities, including a costume contest, cardboard limo race, musical chairs, an American idol contest, scavenger hunt, hula hoop relay and more.
The Relay For Life concludes at 7 a.m. Saturday with team cheers and a closing ceremony.
Carbondale Middle School is located on Snowmass Drive, east of Highway 133.
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