Relay for Life is tomorrow

If you go — Saturday, August 5, 2017

Relay for Life registration begins at 9 a.m. with an opening ceremony at 10 a.m., which also marks the opening of the relay store, which offers lap beads and nachos. The store remains open until 9 p.m.

Survivors and caregivers begin the relay portion by walking the first lap at 10:30 a.m., followed by a survivor’s reception and luncheon at 11 a.m. The silent auction begins at 11 a.m. as well, and remains open until 3 p.m.

At 11:15 a.m. is a “May the Cure Be with You” water pistol course, with a Columbia Bank taco lunch fundraiser following from noon to 1:30 p.m.

There will be music with Ted Horwitz noon to 1 p.m., a cupcake walk at 12:30 p.m., an orange relay at 1:30 p.m. and an ice cream social at 2:30 p.m.

At 4:15 p.m. participants can play “Bingo for a Cure” at $1 a card, and from 5 to 6 p.m. the Dufur Boys will perform bluegrass music inside the Civic.

From 5 to 6:30 p.m. is a Fred Meyer Tri-Tip dinner fundraiser, and from 7 to 9 p.m. is a “paint at relay” event.

At 9 p.m. there will be a “Sprit of Relay” ceremony, followed by a luminaria ceremony at 9:45 p.m.

The Relay ends at 11 p.m.

The Mid-Columbia Relay for Life is Saturday, Aug. 5, at The Dalles Civic Auditorium. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and events conclude at 11 p.m.

This is the 17th year Relay for Life has come to The Dalles, and the 21st year for the event in the Mid-Columbia region, said organizer Marilyn Wong.

“Our goal is to raise $45,000,” she said. Last year, the event raised $41,000. “I don’t the exact totals over the 17 years, but I would estimate the event has raised over $680,000,” said Wong.

Relay for Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Every relay is staffed and coordinated by volunteers in more than 5,200 communities and 27 countries.

It is a team fundraising event where community members take turns walking around a track or designated path. Each team is asked to have a member on the track throughout the event to signify that cancer never sleeps.

The event is based at the Civic, 323 E. Fourth Street, with “lap” routes through downtown The Dalles. Information and fundraising booths will be available throughout the day.

“My favorite part of the relay is the luminaria ceremony,” said Wong, scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. “Reading the names of those honored with a luminaria bag brings to home the number of people affected with cancer,” she explained. “I also like the survivor opening lap (10:30 a.m.) and their luncheon reception (11 a.m.) And I enjoy the competitive spirit of the huge silent auction fundraiser (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)”

Cyndi Vipperman, who is helping Wong in this year’s Relay, said her favorite part of the relay I the survivor lap. “It’s the first lap of the Relay and it’s for those that have survived and continue to fight back against cancer,” she said. “I honor them with a t-shirt and cake and have lunch brought in from various companies like Subway here in The Dalles. As we cheer them around the track for that first lap we are remembering what we are fighting for and how we are winning.”

Vipperman added she is proud to volunteer with the American Cancer Society, and that comes home to her during the relay. “As I walk around the track I am thankful I am a volunteer of the American cancer society. I know in my heart I am doing my best to fight cancer and help fund research so that we can find a cure for all cancers. And I know I am making a difference.”

— By Mark Gibson

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