The American Cancer Society (ACS) Relay For Life of Tamaqua and Surrounding Communities held their annual "Power of Purple" Pre-Relay party over the weekend in honor of those who survived cancer and are still fighting cancer. The event, which was held in the social hall of the Hometown Fire Company, consisted of music, games, dancing, door prizes, giveaways and food.

Caylan Chanwik, Income Development Representative for the Carbon-Tamaqua Chapter of the American Cancer Society, said the event was held to share the importance of Relay For Life in saving lives from cancer. "Relay For Life is as much an awareness raiser about the progress against cancer as it is a fundraiser," said Chanwik. "Individuals who are willing to give their time and energy to this exciting event, as a volunteer or participant, have made a commitment to fight back against this disease and let the community know that you can beat cancer."

Brad and Kathy Murphy of Original Sounds Entertainment provided music and DJ donated their time during the event.

Chanwik also stated her excitement regarding their upcoming Relay For Life, which will again be held at the Panther Valley Football Stadium this year on June 22. She stressed that the free event is open to everyone and will run from 2 p.m. on Friday to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Relay For Life organizers encourage everyone, not just teams or walkers, to stop by at any time during the Relay and enjoy food, music, entertainment and activities. Special ceremonies will also be held to honor local cancer survivors and remember those we've lost.

For more information on ACS Relay, if you would like to volunteer on the Relay committee or simply want to start a team, contact Chanwik at (570) 645-2162 or (888) 227-5445 x3112. To donate or for more information, people can also visit them online at www.relayforlife.org [2].

The American Cancer Society is the nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives and diminishing suffering from cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. Relay For Life is the signature event of the American Cancer Society. It is a fun-filled overnight event that mobilizes communities throughout the country to celebrate survivors (anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer), remember loved ones,and raise money to fight back against cancer. Teams members (8 to 15 per team) gather with tents and sleeping bags to participate in the largest fundraising walk in the nation.

"We want to thank the Hometown Fire Company and everyone that came out in support of the event," said Judy Hoppes, Health Initiative Representative, local ACS. "Everyone had a great time."

"Our Relay For Life brings together friends, families, businesses, hospitals, schools and churches," added Chanwik. "Teams seek sponsorship prior to the Relay, all with the goal of eliminating cancer."