Relay For Life is the main volunteer-driven cancer fundraising event of the American Cancer Society (ACS). Millions of people in over 20 countries take part in this global phenomenon. It is estimated that Relay For Life events have raised over $5 billion to date. Relay events are held in local communities, campus universities, military bases, and in cyberspace, generally in the late spring and early summer. Although their main objective is to raise money for cancer research and cancer patients, the events are held to spread cancer awareness, celebrate survivors lives, remember those who lost their lives to cancer, and unite a community.
In May 1985, Dr. Gordon Klatt, a colorectal surgeon from Tacoma, Washington, decided he wanted to raise money for the ACS in honor of his patients while doing something he loved - running marathons. For 24 hours, Klatt walked around the track at Baker Stadium. He walked approximately 83 miles and raised $27,000 for cancer research. The next year, he recruited a small team of people and put on the first Relay event, known as the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer.
Since then, Relay has developed an overnight fundraising event where people of all ages bring tents and sleep out around the tracks. It brings the community together to reminisce about loved ones and honor those who have survived the disease. Now, almost 4 million people take part in Relay events in over 5,000 communities in the U.S. Because cancer never sleeps, Relays are held overnight to remind everyone of that.
You can learn more about Relay for Life on relayforlife.org. This charity holds a special and personal spot in CHR's heart. We hope you can find room in yours too.