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Relay for Life returns to Marquette County

Last year's Marquette County Relay For Life kicked off with participants walking an opening lap around the Al Quaal Recreational Area. (Journal photo by Corey Kelly)

MARQUETTE — With six days left, 12 teams will try to meet a goal of $60,000 in donations for Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society’s signature event.

The Relay for Life of Marquette County will be held at Marquette Senior High School along West Fair Avenue on Saturday, from noon to midnight. The event, which typically lasts for six to 24 hours, will be staffed and coordinated by community volunteers in the Marquette County area. There are 12 overall teams with 26 total participants that will be at this year’s event. Each team will have a themed campsite where fundraising efforts will consist of collecting donations for food, goods, games and activities. The donations raised by each team will count toward the overall fundraising goal.

As of earlier today, the top two teams with the largest amount of donations include A Cup Half Full with $2,768 and UPHS-Marquette with $1,507.

The Relay for Life event started with one man who walked and ran around a track for 24 hours to raise money for the American Cancer Society in 1985. It has since evolved into a global event that has raised over $5 billion to further cancer research, according to data from the American Cancer Society website. Today, it is a team fundraising event where team members take turns walking around a track or a designated path. Each team is asked to have at least one member on the track at all times of relay events to signify “cancer never sleeps.”

The schedule of a Relay for Life event typically starts with an opening ceremony followed by a survivor and caregivers walk. Then, there is a luminaria dedication ceremony when the sun sets for people to honor their lost loved ones, survivors and those currently battling some form of cancer. A luminaria is a lit candle that is placed inside of a paper bag weighted with sand. The Relay for Life event concludes with a closing ceremony.

For more information, visit https://bit.ly/2ETGUYM.

Von Lanier can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 254.