ATLANTA (April 1, 2013) – The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life 2013 season is officially under way in Georgia, with a total of 157 Relay events scheduled to take place across the state over the next few months. The “father” of Relay, Dr. Gordy Klatt, will add excitement to Relay in Georgia, participating in Relay For Life in Vinings on May 31.
Since its founding more than two decades ago when Klatt walked around a track all night in Tacoma, Washington, to raise money to fight cancer, Relay For Life has become the largest fundraising event in the world. Relay now raises more than $400 million a year for the fight against cancer. Relay is the now Society’s signature event, taking place in 5,200 communities nationwide and in 20 countries. And this Relay year is very special since it occurs as the American Cancer Society is celebrating its 100th birthday.
“Relay For Life brings residents of communities together for a single purpose – fighting cancer,” says Randy Redner, the Society’s Vice President for Georgia. “From the inspirational first lap around a track by survivors and caregivers, to the reverent luminary ceremony after dark, to the colorful campsites, Relay For Life is an experience you will never forget. We urge everyone in Georgia to find a Relay near them and participate. As the American Cancer Society marks its 100th birthday this May, there’s no better time to get involved in Relay and help us finish the fight against cancer.”
Relays are overnight events, with teams camping out and taking turns walking around a track at a local high school, civic organization, park or playground. Each Relay begins with a survivors’ and caregivers’ lap around the track. Then all participants take to the track. After dark, hundreds of candles light up the night to honor those who have survived cancer and to remember those lost to the disease. Team members walk the track all night. The event ends with a closing ceremony the next morning.
Funds raised at Relay events support the Society’s investment in cancer research and its support of a wealth of information, programs and services to assist cancer patients and caregivers. Cancer prevention, detection and treatment breakthroughs funded by the American Cancer Society have led to 14 million cancer survivors in the United States who will celebrate birthdays this year.
For more information on Relay For Life, to sign up to participate in a Relay or to find a Relay event near you, visit www.relayforlife.org.