Relay starts Saturday

Linda Saholt

News Review Correspondent

Relay starts Saturday“It’s going to be awesome,” said Becky Richardson, co-chair of the Ridgecrest 2013 Relay for Life. “We have 80 teams now, and they’ve really come together. Some of them have been doing fundraisers all year for this. We have several fundraisers going this week, too.”

If you feel like eating out tonight, consider McDonald’s, where a portion of the proceeds this evening will be donated to the Relay For Life.

“Even in these tough times, you’d never know it. People have been so generous! Ridgecrest is just wonderful in supporting Relay For Life,” said Richardson. “Our slogan is, ‘In it to win it.’ We’re in it until we win the fight against cancer!”

The 24-hour Relay will take place at Cerro Coso Community College’s rubberized running track. On Saturday morning, the opening ceremony begins at 9 a.m., followed by the Survivor’s Lap.

“All cancer survivors are welcome to take part in the Survivor’s Lap,” said Richardson. “They’ll get a little gift and breakfast.”

Each of the 80 teams will have at least one participant on the track at all times, getting around in whatever manner works — walking, running, skipping, plodding. Team members will be relieved by other team members, so each can go as many or as few laps as he or she feels up to.

Tents and booths set up around the edges, with resting team members and vendors, will add to the camaraderie.

The luminarias will be lit, in a beautiful ceremony at dusk (8 p.m.). These are placed all the way around the track and will light the runners throughout the night.

“Everyone is invited to help celebrate our cancer survivors and to honor those we’ve lost,” said Richardson. “We’re ready. The team captains and my volunteers have been working really hard to get everything ready to put on this event.”

She and co-chair Melissa Merzlak urged those with concerns about cancer to check with the local American Cancer Society office, located in the North Medical Plaza on China Lake Boulevard, next to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital. The phone number is 760-382-1671. “They have a lot of services for cancer patients,” said Richardson.

On Sunday morning, there will be a “Fight Back!” session at 8:30 a.m., followed by closing ceremonies at 9 a.m.

“We did a fundraiser for the Relay on Friday,” said Leslie Brown, of the offices of Chuck Cordell Construction, 760-375-3118. “We had vendors and served a tri-tip dinner right here in our parking lot. We did very well and raised money for the Relay.”

Donations can be made at the ACS office, at Cordell Construction, through any of the Relay team captains or at the event. Spectators are encouraged to come on out and cheer, check out the vendors and have a good time. Participants are always welcomed.

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Story First Published: 2013-10-16