The Hometown Farmer's Market will be filled with hundreds of walkers and runners this Friday into Saturday during Tamaqua's 18th annual Relay For Life held, rain or shine, via the local Carbon-Tamaqua chapter of the American Cancer Society to raise donations and awareness for the American Cancer Society's fight against cancer. Dozens of enthusuastic relay teams and supporters will camp out and walk the course for the 24-hour event starting 2 p.m. Friday, and ending 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 25. Many teams have been fundraising non-stop since last year's Relay in an effort to achieve this year's Relay goal of $90,000.

The American Cancer Society's Relay For Life is a yearly fundraising event that allows participants from all walks of life to join together to fight cancer and spread awareness. The family-friendly event, which is open to the public free of charge, will offer food, music, bands, games, a drag show, raffles and many other activities. Fundraising merchandise will also be available. This year, the Relay we have an outdoor movie screen, providing constant video entertainment throughout the 24 hour-long relay.

The event is also held to show never-ending support for anyone diagnosed with cancer, as well as to show support for the survivors. At 7 p.m. on Friday, victims, survivors, friends and family are encouraged to take part in the Relay For Life's Survivor's Victory Lap, which is held during the Relay to celebrate cancer survivors in our community. In addition, there will be a free survivor's breakfast Saturday morning at 9 a.m.

Highlighting the evening, will be the Luminaria Ceremony, which will take place at 9:30 p.m. on Friday to honor cancer survivors and to remember those who have lost the battle against cancer. Hundreds of luminaria bags inscribed with messages of hope and remembrance line the track and are left burning throughout the night to remind participants of the incredible importance of their time and monetary contributions.

The funds raised through Relay For Life enable the Society to continue their investment in the fight against cancer through educational programs, research and services to patients, as well as many other programs. Organizers stated their appreciation for the generosity of local sponsors like Boyer's Food Markets, Silberline Manufacturing Company, St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, The Jim Thorpe National Bank, Trans Western Polymers, Valley Athletic Supply, Best Buds Specialty Florists, In Home Referral, and La Mia Torta that allow money raised by participants to go directly to the American Cancer Society's lifesaving programs.

For more information about the Relay, call 570-645-2162 or 888-227-5445 x3112. To register a team, survivor, or to donate money online, visit www.relayforlife.org/patamaquaarea [2]. For cancer information, contact your American Cancer Society 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1.800.ACS.2345 or www.cancer.org [3].

Visitors and supporters, not just relayers, are encouraged to stop anytime during the day-long Relay and view or take part in any of the planned activities.