Kodiak Daily Mirror - Relay for Life begins tonight
Relay for Life begins tonight
by Julie Herrmann
Jul 25, 2014 | 95 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Nicole Klauss file photo
Cancer survivors and their caregivers walked the first
lap around the track at Relay for Life on July 26, 2013.
Nicole Klauss file photo Cancer survivors and their caregivers walked the first lap around the track at Relay for Life on July 26, 2013.
The Relay for Life benefit for the American Cancer Society kicks off tonight at 6 at Woody Way Field.

Seventeen teams have signed up, and the goal is to have at least one member of each team walking the entire 24 hours of the event. Participants set up tents and camp through the night, all in an attempt to raise awareness and funding for cancer research.

It can get tiring in the wee hours of the morning, so Relay for Life has something going on every hour throughout the night, whether it’s a performance or a special themed lap.

There’s a glow stick lap at 2 a.m. on Saturday, a pajama lap at 3 a.m., a bed head/crazy hair lap at 5 a.m., a villains lap at 10 a.m. and a heroes lap at 11 a.m.

“It’s quite fun to see the outfits people come up with,” Graham said.

The Kodiak High School Dance Team will perform at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Team Polycure, one of the walking teams, will perform a Somalian dance. For music, local performers Mark Barnette, Under the Moose and Drew Sablon will perform on Friday evening.

In addition, DJ Mark Ignacio will be providing music when performances are not going on. All of the performers are volunteers, according to event co-chairwoman Angela Graham.

“Everyone is giving of their time and talents,” Graham said. That includes everyone who runs Relay for Life. The five-person Relay for Life committee is all volunteers and community members help with setup and takedown.

That means all of the money raised in association with Relay for Life goes to the American Cancer Society, a cancer research organization that also helps cancer patients by providing transportation to appointments and a 24-hour hotline.

So far Relay for Life has raised $31,871, out of a $50,000 goal.

“We get a bunch at relay, and our actual fundraising is not ending until Aug. 31,” Graham said.

Most of the teams that have signed up also have booths to raise funds at the event. Some do face painting, some bring baked goods, one team is operating a snack shack and one team is selling home cooked meals.

In addition, one of the teams holds a 5k in August that usually brings in $6,000 to $7,000. It’s called “Splash of Color” similar to the popular Color Run where racers get colored powder thrown at them throughout the race.

“It’s different from the Color Run, that way we can give the money to whoever we want, and we give it to the American Cancer Society,” Graham said.

Relay for Life also sells luminarias, which are lit at midnight while the names of people who lost their fight with cancer are read.

“It’s done quietly with no music, and we light candles for the people we’ve lost and the people who’ve survived,” Graham said.

Relay for Life is in its eight year in Kodiak, and so far, 135 people have signed up to walk this year. However, Graham said that number is low.

“Usually, we have double that if not more who just show up and walk,” Graham said. “It’s for an amazing cause that helps our community stay close and connected.”

The full schedule can be found at facebook.com/KodiakRelayForLife.

Contact Julie Herrmann at jherrmann@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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