Teams are ready to go, activities have been planned and survivors have been invited … Escalon’s annual Relay For Life is on the schedule for this weekend, June 21 and 22.
Participants in the American Cancer Society’s signature fundraising event will be walking laps around the track at Escalon High School for a 24-hour period from Saturday morning to Sunday morning, to raise money and awareness in the fight against cancer. All in the community are welcome to attend, you don’t have to be on a team to come and support the event. Along with having at least one person from each team on the track at all times, the teams also host a variety of fundraising events and fun activities at their team campsites. Informational displays regarding cancer detection and prevention are provided by teams as well and throughout the day different groups and performers will take the stage to entertain.
The schedule of events includes breakfast being served up by the Escalon Lion’s Club, provided for all participants, starting at 6:30 a.m., at the high school football field on the campus of Escalon High School. Registration opens at 7 a.m., with a team captain’s meeting at 8 a.m.
Opening ceremonies begin at 8:30 a.m., with the special Survivor Lap starting off the 24-hour Relay at 9 a.m.
Luminaria sales will go on throughout the day, with the bags available for purchase. They will be used to help light the track in the evening, and can be purchased in memory of a loved one or friend lost to cancer or in honor of a person currently battling the disease.
Teams set up their campsites around the track at Escalon High, with a special tent area for Survivors and the activities for them, and a separate stage for entertainment.
On the schedule for the day are bands including The New Past at 9:30 a.m.; musician Neil Buettner at noon; musician Josh Rosenblum at 2 p.m.; and The New Past again at 8 p.m.
Specialty acts taking the stage will range from dance workouts and dance performances, hula dance instruction and contest, a lyrical dance performance and the Spirit of Relay ceremony at 11 p.m.
Theme laps throughout the day will include crazy hat lap, sports team lap, patriotic, superhero/villain, Disney character and Hawaiian laps. There will also be Mardi Gras, neon/glow laps, backwards lap and decades laps.
A soccer clinic runs from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, and there will be sack races, a frozen T-shirt contest, scheduled balloon release, musical chairs and kite flight for a cure. Survivors will also be treated to dinner and the movie ‘Frozen’ will be shown at midnight.
Festivities continue throughout the night, with a pajama party, dash for trash, a ‘Fight Back’ ceremony at 8:30 a.m. and the final lap at 9 a.m. Sunday, June 22.
Organizers of the event said they are looking forward to the weekend, with plenty of returning teams joined by new ones, lots of survivors to be celebrated and memories to be made as the community gathers to continue the fight against cancer.