Relay For Life party is Thursday

Kickoff event offers registration, team information

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If you go

What: Relay For Life kickoff party

When: 4:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Steamboat Springs Community Center

Cost: Free

Call: Susan at 879-8831

Online

Learn more about the fifth annual Steamboat Springs Relay For Life here. The event is from 6 p.m. July 23 to 9 a.m. July 24 at Steamboat Springs High School. Registration is $100 per team, with a team fundraising goal of $1,000. Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.

— Registered teams and potential event participants will have a chance to learn more about the fifth annual Steamboat Springs Relay For Life on Thursday.

A kickoff party for this year’s event is at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. Team registration is from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. From 5:30 to 7 p.m., event organizers will celebrate the 2009 event and discuss fundraising ideas for 2010, Steamboat Relay event co-chairwoman Lisa Lancaster said.

“We’re welcoming anyone in the community to come find out about the Relay,” Lancaster said. Representatives from the event’s youth involvement, luminaria and survivor committees will give short presentations at Thursday’s party, and a representative from Yampa Valley Medical Center will be on hand to discuss the hospital’s cancer services, Lancaster said.

The fifth annual Steamboat Relay For Life is July 23 and 24 at Steamboat Springs High School. Each team pledges to have at least one person walking on the high school track at all times during the event “to symbolize the fact that cancer never sleeps,” Lancaster said.

Event organizers hope to get more teams registered than any previous Steamboat Relay — the goal is 60 teams — and to raise more money than in years past, with a fundraising goal of $200,000, Lancaster said. Relay For Life brought in $169,500 to benefit the American Cancer Society in 2009, she said.

Sponsorship chairwoman Kay Wagner said Relay For Life committee members strive to make each year’s fundraiser better than the one before it. Organizers hope to raise more money and involve more people for the event, which Wagner described as exciting and powerful. Between 30 and 50 local businesses help put on the event each year, with sponsors contributing money and supplies, she said.

Wagner and Lancaster pointed out the Relay For Life luminaria ceremony — when bags honoring someone who has battled cancer light up the night — as one of the event’s most striking moments.

“I think it’s something that those who I’ve seen involved in it are touched in different ways, depending on what their personal experience with cancer is, whether it’s the death of a loved one or a friend or experiencing it themselves,” Lancaster said.

As of Tuesday evening, 11 teams had registered for this year’s Relay, with 43 participants raising about $5,600. For more information about Relay For Life, go to www.steamboatrelayforlife.com. For more information about the American Cancer Society, go to www.cancer.org.

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