The American Cancer Society's Relay For Life of Palmerton & Surrounding Communities will hold a Power of Purple Party on Monday, March 12, at 7 p.m. in the Palmerton Area High School cafeteria as preparations preparations continue for the event to be held June 2-3, 2012.

The Party is free and is open to the public. Everyone is welcome, including anyone wishing to learn more about the event, current committee and team members, those who have participated in the past but aren't yet registered for this year, and all cancer survivors. Event Chair Connie Smith notes, "Even if you've never heard of Relay For Life before, this is a great time to get involved! You will have the opportunity to learn the details of this year's Relay, play fun games, win great prizes, enjoy free food, and much more. There will also be registration and fundraising materials available."

A cancer survivor will address the attendees during the party. Survivors and caregivers in attendance will be recognized and those who have lost their fight will be remembered. The guest speaker for the event is Ms. Sherry Speering from the Boyertown Relay For Life. Sherry is one of the American Cancer Society's Voices of Hope. The local Voices of hope provide a decidedly visible symbol of personal victory over cancer and are used to encourage involvement and support of ACS events. These volunteers symbolize the courageous struggle of all cancer survivors and caregivers as they fight back against the disease through volunteering in income, mission, advocacy and patient services programs.

This year's relay theme is Rockin' Around the Clock for a Cure. Due to upcoming construction at the Palmerton High School, the site of the area Relay since its beginning in 2001, this year's event will be held at the Lehighton Football Stadium. The event, as always, is open to the public. Admission and parking are free.

No matter what your reason to Relay, every person and every dollar makes a difference to those whose lives are touched by cancer. That's the power of purple – the power of people like you. Because, every life counts! Imagine a World with Less Cancer and More Birthdays!

Relay For Life started on a lone track in Tacoma, Washington. In the mid-1980s, Dr. Gordy Klatt, a Tacoma colorectal surgeon, wanted to enhance the income of his local American Cancer Society office. He decided to personally raise money for the fight by doing something he enjoyedrunning marathons. So, in May 1985, Dr. Klatt spent a grueling 24 hours circling the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma for more than 83 miles. Throughout the night, friends paid $25 to run or walk 30 minutes with him. He raised $27,000 to fight cancer. That first year, nearly 300 of Dr. Klatt's friends, family, and patients watched as he ran and walked the course.

While he circled the track those 24 hours, he thought about how others could take part. He envisioned a 24-hour team relay event that could raise more money to fight cancer. Months later he pulled together a small committee to plan the first team relay event known as the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer.

All proceeds benefit the Carbon-Tamaqua Unit of the American Cancer Society. Call 1.888.227.5445 ext. 3112 for more information or log onto www.relayforlife.org/papalmerton.

Palmerton Area High School is located at 3525 Fireline Road, Palmerton. Press is welcome and photo opportunities will be available. Please contact Chris Borger at (610) 442-6440 for further information.