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Annual Relay for Life slated April 5-6

March 28, 2002|By DORA DEPAOLI

Staff Writer

The American Cancer Society is holding its second annual Relay for Life on April 5-6 at the Southwest High School track and football field.

The 24-hour event begins at noon April 5 and continues through noon April 6, with teams camping out for the night on the football field. Rules require teams to have at least one of their members on the track at all times.

Linda Shaner of Imperial, volunteer and chairwoman of the event, became involved with the American Cancer Society after losing her mother, Frances Dale of Imperial, to the disease in 1995.

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"It is the signature event for the local society," Shaner said. "It is a terrific event. At 6 p.m. we have a Survivors Walk. We sent invitations to all the cancer survivors we know. While they are walking the lap the people on the teams come out on the track and cheer them as they walk.

"At 9 p.m. we have a luminary ceremony to honor and encourage those who are still fighting the fight, and those who lost the fight," she said.

The luminaries will be placed on the inside of the track with the names of those still fighting the disease, and those who have died. An announcer will read all the names on the bags.

Each team pays a $100 registration fee. Teams are generally made up of 10 to 15 members. Each team member tries to raise $100, and some raise much more. Last year the relay raised $87,000, and the Cancer Society hopes to top that this year. The money raised stays in the Imperial Valley except for a portion that goes to cancer research.

Last year 35 cancer survivors participated in the relay, with more expected this year. For more information about the Relay for Life call 352-6656, option 3.

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