KODIAK — Angela McFarland is named after an aunt she never met.
Her aunt died of cancer.
For that reason, McFarland has stepped up to chair Kodiak’s Relay for Life event, replacing former chair Mandy Clark.
“I think everybody has been affected (by cancer), but I will never meet the woman I was named after because of it,” McFarland said. “That is kind of my driving force.
“It is something that is very important to me. It is something that I believe in … It’s just something I have a huge passion for.”
Kodiak’s Relay for Life begins 6 p.m. July 29, at Baranof Park.
Participants can sign up the day of the event, but McFarland encourages teams to register before that.
“A week in advance gives us the opportunity to give them as much information as possible so they can be a successful team,” she said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 23 teams have signed up. In past years, teams could consist of up to 15 people. This year, there is no limit on team size.
“When you have big companies and big groups of people that want to be on the same team and don’t want to fundraise against each other, it is so much nicer to just put them on one team,” McFarland said.
McFarland, a 1999 Kodiak High School graduate, said last year’s Relay for Life raised $75,000. The goal this year is $100,000.
“We are shooting big,” she said.
A concert by Alaskan country singer Ken Peltier highlights this year’s festivities. Peltier, a throat cancer survivor, will perform July 29 after the survivor’s lap, which kicks off the 24-hour walk.
“Ken Peltier is huge for us to have,” McFarland said.
McFarland said the vice president of Relay for Life is also attending opening ceremonies.
A survivor dinner is 6:30 p.m. July 27, at Springhill Hall. McFarland said caretakers and survivors are welcome.
McFarland encourages people to get involved in the event.
“The energy down at the track drives people that 24 hours,” she said. “We don’t expect people to come and walk for the whole 24 hours … Just come down and be supportive, because it is a community and we are all supporting each other.”
To sign up contact McFarland, 942-1515, or email email@example.com.
Mirror Writer Derek Clarkston can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.