Relay kicks off Saturday

It’s that time of year again, when people will pitch tents and take turns walking a track for 24 hours, all while dressing up in various themes, carrying a baton and rallying together against cancer.

Relay for Life of Polk County will be from 10 a.m. Saturday through 10 a.m. Sunday at Independence Riverview Park. Ours is one of the few remaining 24-hour events — most other Relay events have shortened hours to increase participation.

We are glad that Polk County leaders have preserved the 24-hour nature of the event — “cancer doesn’t sleep, and neither do we” is a common theme at a Relay event.

The event serves many purposes. It gives those who are fighting cancer, those who have fought — and won the battle for today — as well as those who have taken care of someone who has had cancer or those who have loved someone who lost the battle a place to gather and feel supported behind a united cause — beating cancer for good.

It promotes education — ways to avoid cancer through healthy lifestyle choices, reminders to get checked regularly — and activism, with opportunities to join the American Cancer Society’s political action committee arm.

Behind the camaraderie and education lies the big purpose of the event: raising money.

The money raised through Relay for Life events goes to the American Cancer Society’s efforts to beat cancer and help those who are working to beat it themselves. If you find yourself at the park this weekend, bring an extra $20 — or $100, or whatever — to toss in the total and get ready to walk a few laps. Your money will be used to provide transportation to a cancer patient who needs to go to a doctor’s appointment. Or maybe it will help teach a woman who lost her breasts to cancer how to feel confident and beautiful again. Or maybe it will go to a research project that may hold clues to a cure.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.