Help beat cancer— come to Relay For Life!

Linda Saholt

News Review Correspondent

Do you have someone close to you whose life has been touched by cancer? Then please consider coming out to participate in the American Cancer Society Ridge-crest 15th Annual Relay For Life, set for Oct. 19 and 20 at Cerro Coso Community College’s jogging track.

You can either join a team or sign up as an individual and you will be assigned to a team. Each team has at least one person on the track at all times, for the 24 hours of the event. When on the track, you can be walking, running, jogging, skipping, in a wheelchair or whatever.

Your participation fee and all donations you get from friends and neighbors go to the ACS as part of the total funds raised by this event. If being on the track is not your preferred way to participate, you can help support by donating time as a volunteer or donating money.

Another way to participate is through the luminaria program — contact the ACS to buy a luminaria bag for a small fee. You can decorate it any way you like in memory or celebration of your loved one; you can also purchase bags already decorated by schoolchildren. The decorated bags are placed around the entire perimeter of the track and are lit from within in a ceremony at dusk on Oct. 19. The luminarias then give off a beautiful glow all night.

The schedule starts on Saturday, Oct. 19 with the opening ceremony at 9 a.m. The Survivors Lap is at 9:30 a.m. with the luminaria ceremony at 8 p.m.

On Sunday, Oct. 20, Fight Back takes place at 8:30 a.m., with the closing ceremony at 9 a.m.

Relay For Life began in 1985 and has since become the largest community-engagement fund-raising event in the world, withmore than 6,000 events staged at community tracks, stadiums, shopping malls, college campuses and corporate campuses.

Relay For Life has raised more than $4 billion to fight cancer.

Here in Ridgecrest, the first Relay For Life event was held in around 1995. Roger Loewen was the chairman, with the eventheld in honor of his wife, Dianne, who suffered from breast cancer.

“No one in Ridgecrest knew anything about Relay For Life.

“It took a lot of footwork going around to all the clubs and businesses to tell them about it,” said Loewen. “It was regulated out of Palmdale/Lancaster.

“They thought that if we could raise $25,000, that would really be exceptional. We raised $48,000, almost double what they hoped for! I participated for several years after that as a committee person.

”It’s been really successful since then, but when it started here no one knew anything about it.”

To participate, call Cordell Construction Co., 760-375-3118 and ask for Chuck, Leslie or Elana. Or see www.relayfor

Story First Published: 2013-09-25