Exeter to kickoff its 12th Relay for Life

The American Cancer Society fundraiser in Exeter will hold kickoff meeting on Jan. 15

The Sun-Gazette

EXETER – It’s been a dozen years since Exeter began holding its own Relay For Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, and in that time, the small town has been able to surpass larger cities and become among the top relays in the West.

While the relay honors and shows support for survivors and for those who live with cancer, the Exeter Relay for Life also holds a luminary ceremony in memoriam for those who have died. File photo.

In order to help Exeter stay on top of the list, and on top of finding a cure for cancer, the Relay for Life committee is asking anyone interested in participating in this year’s event to attend a kickoff mixer this month. The event will be held at 6 p.m. at Bank of the Sierra, located at 1103 W Visalia Rd. in Exeter.  Everyone is invited to the kickoff to learn about how to help the American Cancer Society save more lives from cancer. Light refreshments and fun will be provided. Be prepared to learn about the Exeter Relay and get involved with some fun activities.  

The program will highlight how the community has benefited from funds raised and will honor cancer survivors and caregivers. Guests will have the opportunity to register a team and Cancer Survivors will be able to register for the Survivor Activities. Relay For Life events are community gatherings where teams and individuals camp out at a school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Teams participate in fundraising in the months leading up to the event. The Relay For Life movement is the world’s largest fundraising event to fight every cancer in every community. 

The national motto of the Relay is “Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back.” signified by three main events at the beginning, middle and end of each relay:

  • Celebrate: Relay starts with a Survivors Lap – an inspirational time when survivors are invited to circle the track together and help everyone celebrate the victories they’ve achieved over cancer. The lap also recognizes and celebrates caregivers who give their time, love, and support to friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers who face cancer.
  • Remember: After dark, relay honors people who have been touched by cancer and remember loved ones lost to the disease during the Luminaria Ceremony. Candles are lit inside bags filled with sand, each one bearing the name of a person touched by cancer, and participants often walk a lap in silence. Bags can be purchased “in honor” of cancer survivors and “in memory” of those lost to cancer. Exeter has set a goal to sell 3,000 luminaries to light up the night.
  • Fight Back: Last, there is the Closing Ceremonies, where teams gather to tally the money they have raised for cancer research. All of the monies raised through Relay For Life benefit the American Cancer Society, whose research continued to help save the lives of millions of people affected by cancer every year. By taking action, people are personally taking steps to save lives and fight back against a disease that takes too much. If you have never attended a Relay For Life, it is never too late to start your battle with cancer – for someone you love, or possibly someday for yourself.

Individuals, businesses and organizations form teams comprised of friends, family and employees. The teams each have a goal of raising at least $100 per person and an overall goal to raise money for the event. Exeter hopes to raise $100,000 overall for cancer research. This year, Exeter will be hosting its 12th Relay for Life event, highlighting more than a decade of fighting back against cancer.  The event will be held on May 15, 2020 at Dobson Field in Exeter.  

Visit www.relayforlife.org/exeterca to learn more about the event, or contact Stefani Woods at (559) 594-9919 or [email protected] or Elisa Ramos at (559) 512-8765 or [email protected]. 

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