The Relay For Life of Escalon will be staged at Escalon High School on Saturday and Sunday, May 20 and 21 and forecasters are calling for sunny skies and summerlike temperatures, reaching possibly as high as the upper 90s.
Nevertheless, teams and participants will set up their campsites and booths around the track in Memorial Stadium for the duration of the 24-hour American Cancer Society signature fundraising event.
Opening ceremonies will be at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, May 20 and the community is welcome and encouraged to attend. Cancer survivors start the event with a ceremonial first lap about 9 a.m., then are joined in by caregivers and other participants.
Teams come from churches, businesses, families, school groups and more, with the idea to have at least one person from each team on the track at all times, signifying that ‘cancer never sleeps.’
There are also a variety of activities scheduled throughout the 24-hour period along with musical entertainment, special ‘theme’ laps from patriotic to superhero to glow laps. This year, the overall theme for Relay is holidays, and each team was able to choose a holiday to use as the design scheme for decorating heir booth. Teams raise money for the ACS by selling items at Relay, whether it is food, chances at opportunity baskets, baked goods, handmade crafts and more. Survivors are also the honored guests and some events are planned specifically for them.
There is an evening balloon release, a luminaria ceremony and the showing of a video to remember those lost to the disease and honoring those cancer survivors still fighting the fight.
Relay committee members said they can’t stress enough how important it is for the community to join in – you do not have to be on a team to attend; just come and support the teams at their booths, celebrate survivorship and learn more about how to protect you and your family from cancer.
Typically hosted in June, officials are hoping that the move to May will encourage more participation, as it is before school lets out for the summer and families get away for vacation.
The ‘Fight Back’ closing ceremony will be staged on Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m., with the final lap about 9 a.m.
The local event has raised over $27,000 so far.