One Day. One Night. One Hope.
It is with that conviction that participants will converge at the Lehighton High School football stadium this weekend for the 12th annual Relay For Life of Lower Carbon County and Surrounding Areas.
Free and open to the public, the event kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday, and runs for 24 hours until 10 a.m. Sunday. All proceeds benefit the Carbon-Tamaqua Unit of the American Cancer Society.
Cheryl Haas, event chair, said the theme of this year's event is "Carnival for a Cure."
Haas said "it's hard to believe, but in a few short days, we will all meet on the track at Lehighton Middle School."
"We have accomplished so much this Relay year," Haas said. "We could not be where we are today without the 2013 Relay For Life of Lower Carbon County's 'Carnival for a Cure,' without each and every committee and participant members continued support."
Haas added "we are truly blessed to be working along with a wonderful group of committee members, team captains, team members, communities and ACS staff."
While Haas said the signature event of the ACS is down a few teams compared to last year, the number of participants has increased.
Haas will lead the opening ceremonies at 10 a.m. The food court and Chinese auction will open at 11 a.m., as will registration for many of the day's activities.
A colorful Parade of Teams will be held at 1 p.m. in connection with a Fight Back ceremony led by Mission & Advocacy committee co-chairs Sharon Krebs and Sandy Benson.
The Survivor Celebration begins at 6 p.m. Survivors can register on-site from 4-5:30 p.m. All cancer survivors are invited to participate. Following the ceremony, the survivors and their caregivers will take a lap with a small reception immediately following.
The Luminaria Ceremony begins at 9 p.m. Caregivers and survivors will lead the first lap, followed by attendees who wish to join the lap.
Along with the traditional walking the track, there are plenty of fun activities and games on tap throughout the 24 hours, such as a digital scavenger hunt, Zumba, the annual Team Tug of War, Pinky Promise nail painting, Karaoke, and much more.
There will be a big Chinese Auction opening at 11 a.m. and closing at 7:30 p.m. The auction is closed during major ceremonies. Entertainment will be provided by DK the Disc Jockey Kings, and the band Stickyfrog.
Relay For Life is much more than a fundraiser. It is designed to involve the entire community in cancer education, increase awareness of the mission of the American Cancer Society and its advocacy efforts, and to learn about programs and services available to cancer patients, their caregivers and families.
It is a fun-filled overnight event intended to bring together people to Celebrate, Remember and Fight Back.
The life-changing event brings more than 3.5 million people together annually to Celebrate the lives of the survivors who have battled cancer and are winning the fight; to remember loved ones lost to the disease; and to Fight Back by making a commitment to put an end to cancer.
For more information, call 1-888-227-5445, ext. 3112, or visit www.relay.acsevents.org .
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 24-hour nonprofit walk event.