With a 2023 fundraising goal of $150,000 and the Relay For Life of Greater Stanislaus County coming up Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, teams are making a final push for the event.
Staged at John Thurman Field in Modesto, the American Cancer Society signature event brings together teams from throughout Stanislaus County as well as some from San Joaquin County as well. The large, centralized event is in its third year at the home of the Modesto Nuts, having combined the Modesto, Oakdale and Turlock relays in 2021, also encompassing teams from those individual relay events.
This is a 24-hour team event and more than $113,000 has been raised already. Proceeds help finance education, advocacy, research and patient services through the American Cancer Society.
Primary sponsor for the 2023 Relay is ConAgra of Oakdale and this year’s theme is Strike Out Cancer.
Festivities begin with opening ceremonies on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 9 a.m., with the first lap around the track at John Thurman Field walked by cancer survivors. Caregivers follow, then all teams are encouraged to join in for the initial laps. Throughout the day, there will also be music, theme laps, contests, a special kids camp, and the opportunity to purchase food, arts and crafts, take a chance on a variety of gift baskets and more. There will also be a classic car show on site, with the vehicles parked inside on the concourse and a variety of trophies to be presented.
Luminaria bags will be on sale throughout the day on Saturday, they can be purchased in honor of someone fighting cancer or in memory of someone who has been lost to the disease.
The evening features a touching luminaria ceremony, and the lighted luminaria bags help light the way for overnight walkers.
The goal is to have at least one member of each team on the track at all times, signifying that ‘cancer never sleeps’ and, through that 24-hour Relay period, neither do the participants.
All are welcome to attend; you do not have to be on a team to attend the ceremonies and peruse the booths and activities set up by the various teams.
With overnight laps including a scrabble lap and a poker lap, early morning karaoke and more, the teams will spend 24 hours on site with the goal of raising $150,000 in the fight against cancer.
The 2023 event will wrap up with closing ceremonies and a final lap at 9 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 1.