They're purple, pumped and primed to make a difference in the fight against cancer.

Indeed, positivity permeated from inside the Lehighton Middle School cafeteria as part of a recent Power of Purple kick-off celebration.

The 12th annual Relay For Life of Lower Carbon County and Surrounding Areas will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 1, at the Lehighton Football Stadium. Admission and parking are free.

Event chair Cheryl Haas said the theme of this year's Relay is "Carnival for a Cure".

It was announced there are 63 registered survivors, and that Relay is close to its goal of 101 survivors.

Cancer caregiver Raquel Lutton served as guest speaker.

Lutton said that her husband, Scott, passed away in December after a long battle with cancer. They were married for 20 years, she said.

"Cancer took away everything from our family," Lutton said. "He was a husband, father, son, best friend, brother."

Lutton said "telling my sons was probably the worst thing I ever had to do."

"Cancer really makes you change completely," she said. "You're never really the person you were."

Lutton added that all of the things individuals take for granted, the biggest thing is time.

"I can't tell you how much I would give to see him for one minute," she said. "He's missing his children graduate from high school, college."

Lutton remained optimistic, adding "with the help of Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society, one day we're going to have a cure for this nasty disease."

Haas said there were 22 teams and over 200 people registered for this year's event.

She added "you don't understand what Relay is until you've been part of Relay."

"One dream, one team, one Relay For Life," Haas said. "We are one team; we are all here for the same purpose."

Caylan Chanwick, ACS Partner, expressed her gratitude toward those in attendance.

"Thank you all for coming; I hope it helps all you guys get excited," Chanwick said. "Special thanks to all our team captains and co-captains."

All proceeds benefit the Carbon-Tamaqua Unit of the American Cancer Society.

Call 1-888-227-5445, ext. 3112, for more information, or visit

Over $1 million has been raised since the event formed in Palmerton in 2002.

The first Relay For Life event was held in 1985 in Tacoma, Wash., by Dr. Gordy Klatt, and is the nation's largest overnight, 24-hour, nonprofit walk event.