'Celebrating, Remembering and Fighting Back Through the Decades' is the theme for the 2010 Relay for Life of Palmerton and surrounding areas.

The theme was chosen during the formal kick-off meeting, which was held in the cafeteria at the Palmerton Area High School in Palmerton.

The Relay for Life is the largest overnight, 24-hour, nonprofit walk event in which funds are raised to fight the battle against cancer.

American Cancer Society Income Development Specialist Caylan Chanwik was in charge of the meeting.

Chanwik, who is new to the Palmerton area event, is excited to be involved in the relay.

"Each and every Relay For Life participant and American Cancer Society volunteer makes a difference. I very much look forward to working with

all of you, and I hope that you will help to make this year the most successful yet in the fight against cancer." said Chanwik.

Rules and guidelines of this year's Relay were discussed.

The dates for the 2010 relay are May 22-May 23 from the hours of 10 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The event will be held as in the past at the Palmerton Area High School athletic field located at 3525 Fireline Road.

The goal for this year will be announced at a later date.

"We are going to do something a little different this year in that by the end of the Relay a Chair and co-chair will be chosen for the following year," said Chanwik.

At the end of the kick-off meeting volunteers for chair and co chair were still needed for the 2010 event.

Other committees needing volunteer chairmen are logistics, registration, entertainment/activities, food/ beverage, sponsorship, survivorship and team development.

"The more people working together makes the job easier. Ask your friends and neighbors if they would like to help," added Chanwik.

All team captains and cancer survivors present at the meeting were given a small gift.

The meeting drew to a close with a short celebration of survivors and a special ceremony was held to remember those who lost their lives to cancer.

Some of the 2009 statistics were that 463 Luminaries, 643 participants and 225 survivors took part in the Relay and approximately $118,222.00 was raised through fundraisers throughout the whole year.

The next meeting for the ninth annual Relay for Life will be held Monday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. in the Palmerton High School library.

Anyone wanting to volunteer their time to fill in a vacant committee position, become a team caption, or to become a part of a team, please call Chris Borger at (610) 442-6440 or Caylan Chanwik at 888 227 5445 x 3112.

Visit on line at www.relayforlife.org/palmerton.